Wednesday, November 19, 2008

a kiss for cummings

So, confession: I have a massive crush on e.e. cummings. Since the tenth grade, when I first developed this school girl's crush, I've been completely enamored with his poetry. I've amused countless writing teachers with my obsession, collected books and books of his work, and emulated and idolized his style for years, until I found my own voice (which even now has hints of his avant-garde style). And whenever I reread his poems, I find myself again a blushing tenth grader.

To me, cummings is the prime example of all that is complete and whole. His poems vary in tone from delicate and affectionate to playful and even crass. He's what a true artist should be - contemplative and serious about his art, but happy to just have fun with it, to continue to explore and experiment. He's both an expert and a willing student, an icon as well as a jokester. That is so inspiring.

There's no bullshit or pretentions with cummings - he is always tenderly honest, however ugly or uncomfortable the topic. Most amazingly, he makes everything his pen touches, absolutely beautiful. He sees things (and all such imperfections) in a different light, and writes about them so affectionately (without that superficial gloss and veneer) that they are revealed to be actually quite stunning... Maybe I'm being absolutely nonsensical right now, but cummings just has this profound effect on me.

Agh, I am a tenth grader once more.


  1. You should check out some Symbolist French poets.

  2. I will, thanks Mishy! Can't wait to see you next week for Thanksgiving!


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