Tuesday, January 31, 2006

stars rain sun moon

Robin Fletcher, my dear friend whom I first got to know when we taught together for many years at North Cobb High School, dropped me a quick e-mail in which she mentioned having done an online search for an ee cummings poem. I immediately had a flashback to my favorite cummings poem, "anyone lived in a pretty how town." It's a seemingly simple but amazingly profound poem, at times poignant, at times excoriating, at times pure, at times bawdy, at times uplifting, at times devastating... one can scarcely ask for a poem in which every word contributes so powerfully to a thematic effect.

The amazing thing about cummings is that he did this not once, not twice, but quite regularly. I still have a collection of his poetry that I kept in my classroom during my teaching years; I remain amazed at his skill with words, with punctuation, with fragments of meaning... he broke communication into shards and rearranged them in intricate new ways, and I can't see how anyone could fail to admire that.

If you're convinced that it ain't a poem if it doesn't have an established meter and a rigid rhyme scheme, stay away... but if you're looking for poetry that is complex thought distilled to its most potent, look no further.

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