Saturday, May 07, 2005

Poems of Spring

Spring is especially glorious in Portland, OR. Blooming is rampant; tissuey azaleas, delicate, dangling wisteria, rose-toned Japanese maples with their precisely-sculpted leaves. At the Japanese garden last Tuesday, Aaron and I didn't know where to settle our eyes--finally we gazed at the coy fish for respite from the unconquerable beauty.

Growing up in Southern California, there is this middleness concerning seasons that is sometimes alluring, but often uninspiring. Spring/Summer is the dominant feel through most of the year in Los Angeles. I hear that's changing, what with global warming and melting polar caps and all, Portland might become the new L.A.! (my brother, Marco, tells me the United States as a whole is so yesterday!) There are times I yearn for California's mildness, and it's unbridled, orange sunsets, but at this time of year, it's Portland all the way.

So, I love e.e. cummings, and not only because we are born on the same day (how cool is that)--different year, just same day. I think he's an overlooked poet. I'm going to venture that his style is a poetic example of an early hypertextual event, as cummings bucks convention by engaging his reader by much more than just text. He uses form, sound, and unusual starts and stops to facilitate a message. He uses innuendo that seems to extend and link. His lack of clarity begs further consideration of a piece, begs a reader to hold his poem long past a reading. This is a departure from what preceded him in poetics.

Here's an e.e. cummings poem about spring:

In Just

in Just-
spring when the world is mud-
dluscious the little
lame balloonman

whistles far and wee

and eddieandbill come
running from marbles and
piracies and it's
spring

when the world is puddle-wonderful

the queer old balloonman whistles
far and wee
and betteyandisbel come dancing

from hop-scotch and jump-rope and

it's
spring
and
the
goat-footed

balloonMan whistles
far
and
wee

2 Comments:

At 11:10 PM, Blogger Wacky World said...

What rythmn this poem has. I have never read any of E.E.'s work. I love the way he plays with words in this.
Thank you--I enjoyed this as a late-nite read.

 
At 11:14 AM, Blogger johnmclain said...

I agree that cummings uses words and syntax in creative and unique ways.

I
can
imagine
the
jump-rope
as
I
read
this
poem.

His style does require a lot of "linking" on the part of the reader... linking to memories and experiences that most readers can recall.

 

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