Favorite e.e. cummings, November 2010

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I accidentally deleted my entire gmail inbox today with Apple’s nuclear option and managed to retrieve a great deal of it. There were over 15,000 emails there, but I went through them, filed some, and deleted most of them. I found an email dated November 13, 2010 1:49:59 filled with poetry by e.e. cummings; the subject line reads, “cummings poetry faves.” —Waiting a little over six years for me to find, today.

Buffalo Bill’s

Buffalo Bill’s
defunct
who used to
       ride a watersmooth-silver
                                  stallion
and break onetwothreefourfive pigeons justlikethat
                                                            Jesus
he was a handsome man
                     and what I want to know is
how do you like your blue-eyed boy
Mister Death

My Girl’s Tall With Hard Long Eyes

my girl’s tall with hard long eyes
as she stands,with her long hard hands keeping
silence on her dress,good for sleeping
is her long hard body filled with surprise
like a white shocking wire, when she smiles
a hard long smile it sometimes makes
gaily go clean through me tickling aches,
and the weak noise of her eyes easily files
my impatience to an edge—my girl’s tall
and taut, with thin legs just like a vine
that’s spent all of its life on a garden-wall,
and is going to die.  When we grimly go to bed
with these legs she begins to heave and twine
about me,and to kiss my face and head.

I Will Wade Out

i will wade out

till my thighs are steeped in burning flowers
I will take the sun in my mouth
and leap into the ripe air
Alive
with closed eyes
to dash against darkness
in the sleeping curves of my body
Shall enter fingers of smooth mastery
with chasteness of sea-girls
Will i complete the mystery
of my flesh
I will rise
After a thousand years
lipping
flowers
And set my teeth in the silver of the moon

Somewhere I Have Never Travelled, Gladly Beyond

Somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond
any experience, your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near

your slightest look will easily unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skilfully, mysteriously) her first rose

or if your wish be to close me, i and
my life will shut very beautifully ,suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;
nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility: whose texture
compels me with the color of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing

(i do not know what it is about you that closes and opens; 
only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands

My Love Is Building A Building

my love is building a building
around you, a frail slippery
house, a strong fragile house
(beginning at the singular beginning

of your smile)a skilful uncouth
prison, a precise clumsy
prison(building thatandthis into Thus,
Around the reckless magic of your mouth)

my love is building a magic, a discrete
tower of magic and(as i guess)

when Farmer Death(whom fairies hate)shall

crumble the mouth-flower fleet
He'll not my tower,
                   laborious, casual

where the surrounded smile
                          hangs
 
                               breathless 

Yes Is A Pleasant Country

yes is a pleasant country:
if's wintry
(my lovely)
let's open the year

both is the very weather
(not either)
my treasure,
when violets appear

love is a deeper season
than reason;
my sweet one
(and april's where we're) 
 I Have Found What You Are Like

i have found what you are like
        the rain,

                (Who feathers frightened fields
        with the superior dust-of-sleep. wields

        easily the pale club of the wind
        and swirled justly souls of flower strike

        the air in utterable coolness

        deeds of green thrilling light
                                      with thinned

        newfragile yellows

                          lurch and.press

        -in the woods
                     which
                          stutter
                                 and

                                    sing

        And the coolness of your smile is
        stirringofbirds between my arms;but
        i should rather than anything
        have(almost when hugeness will shut
        quietly)almost,
                                  your kiss
If I Have Made, My Lady, Intricate

If I have made, my lady, intricate
imperfect various things chiefly which wrong
your eyes (frailer than most deep dreams are frail)
songs less firm than your body's whitest song
upon my mind - if I have failed to snare
the glance too shy - if through my singing slips
the very skilful strangeness of your smile
the keen primeval silence of your hair
- let the world say "his most wise music stole
nothing from death" -
		    you will only create
(who are so perfectly alive) my shame:
lady whose profound and fragile lips
the sweet small clumsy feet of April came

into the ragged meadow of my soul.
If I Believe

if i believe
in death be sure
of this
it is

because you have loved me,
moon and sunset
stars and flowers
gold creshendo and silver muting

of seatides
i trusted not,
one night
when in my fingers

drooped your shining body
when my heart
sang between your perfect
breasts

darkness and beauty of stars
was on my mouth petals danced
against my eyes
and down

the singing reaches of
my soul
spoke
the green--

greeting pale
departing irrevocable
sea
i knew thee death.

and when
i have offered up each fragrant
night,when all my days
shall have before a certain

face become
white
perfume
only,

from the ashes
then
thou wilt rise and thou
wilt come to her and brush

the mischief from her eyes and fold
her
mouth the new
flower with

thy unimaginable
wings,where dwells the breath
of all persisting stars
It Is At Moments After I Have Dreamed

it is at moments after i have dreamed
of the rare entertainment of your eyes,
when (being fool to fancy) i have deemed

with your peculiar mouth my heart made wise;
at moments when the glassy darkness holds

the genuine apparition of your smile
(it was through tears always)and silence moulds
such strangeness as was mine a little while;

moments when my once more illustrious arms
are filled with fascination, when my breast
wears the intolerant brightness of your charms:

one pierced moment whiter than the rest

-turning from the tremendous lie of sleep
i watch the roses of the day grow deep.
Love Is The Every Only God

Love is the every only god

who spoke this earth so glad and big
even a thing all small and sad
man,may his mighty briefness dig

for love beginning means return
seas who could sing so deep and strong

one queerying wave will whitely yearn
from each last shore and home come young

so truly perfectly the skies
by merciful love whispered were,
completes its brightness with your eyes

any illimitable star
M In A Vicious World To Love Virtue

M in a vicious world-to love virtue
A in a craven world-to have courage
R in a treacherous world-to prove loyal
I in a wavering world-to stand firm

A in a cruel world-to show mercy
N in a biased world-to act justly
N in a shameless world-to live nobly
E in a hateful world-to forgive

M in a venal world-to be honest
O in a heartless world-to be human
O in a killing world-to create
R in a sick world-to be whole

E in an epoch of UNself-to be ONEself 
Thy Fingers Make Early Flowers

Thy fingers make early flowers
of all things.
thy hair mostly the hours love:
a smoothness which
sings,saying
(though love be a day)
do not fear,we will go amaying.

thy whitest feet crisply are straying.
Always
thy moist eyes are at kisses playing,
whose strangeness much
says;singing
(though love be a day)
for which girl art thou flowers bringing?

To be thy lips is a sweet thing
and small.
Death,thee i call rich beyond wishing
if this thou catch,
else missing.
(though love be a day
and life be nothing,it shall not stop kissing)
Unto Thee I

unto thee i
burn incense 
the bowl crackles 
upon the gloom arise purple pencils 

fluent spires of fragrance 
the bowl 
seethes 
a flutter of stars 

a turbulence of forms 
delightful with indefinable flowering, 
the air is 
deep with desirable flowers 

i think 
thou lovest incense 
for in the ambiguous faint aspirings 
the indolent frail ascensions, 

of thy smile rises the immaculate 
sorrow 
of thy low 
hair flutter the level litanies 

unto thee i burn 
incense,over the dim smoke 
straining my lips are vague with 
ecstasy my palpitating breasts inhale the 

slow 
supple 
flower 
of thy beauty,my heart discovers thee 

unto 
whom i 
burn 
olbanum 

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You Bright-Young-Thing Southern Scribes, send in your writing to the 2015 Southern Literary Festival Competition

Bradley's Barn Pre-Construction, Mt. Juliet, TN

Bradley’s Barn Pre-Construction, Mt. Juliet, TN

You Bright-Young-Thing Southern Scribes, let me judge your best submission. I’m thrilled to be one of the judges for the Short Story category for the 2015 Southern Literary Festival Competition. Undergraduates, send in your writing.


Is your college or university a member of The Southern Literary Festival Association? Ask your English Department chair or a professor or an instructor obsessed with Southern Literature because The 2015 Southern Literary Festival Competition will award First, Second, and Third Certificate prizes and publish an anthology of the winning submissions in undergraduate writing of member institutions at the 2015 Southern Literary Festival held at The University of North Georgia in Dahlonega, GA, March 26, 27, and 28 in the following categories:

1. Poetry
2. Short Story
3. One-Act Play
4. Formal Essay
5. Creative Nonfiction
6. Literary Magazine (Print), and
7. Literary E-zine.

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