Thursday, January 16, 2014


I wasn't planning on another round of Cummings, but then a good friend in England, a poet, had seen I was reading through the new and hefty Complete Poems of Cummings, which by the way I don't own but borrow from an out of state library, three cheers for every librarian that is alive! and my friend wondered if this poem he remembers as a young man was in the book — Yes, it is — and since he doesn't have a copy, and I do, I can type it out just for him which is also just for you.


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 easily will 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 colour 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

from  W [ ViVa ]


E.E. Cummings
Complete Poems 1904-1962
Revised, corrected, and expanded edition
edited by George James Firmage
Liveright 2013