Posted by: roamingolivia | October 14, 2010

Happy birthday to E.E. Cummings

I have a few friends I associate with E.E. Cummings, at least one of whom reads this blog. And I found out from my friend Garrison Keillor this morning (we are more or less friends since he reads to me every day) that it is his birthday. So I had a lovely morning, remembering some beautiful lines of his poetry. That said, this is a bit intense for 8 a.m.:

since feeling is first

since feeling is first
who pays any attention
to the syntax of things
will never wholly kiss you;

wholly to be a fool
while Spring is in the world

my blood approves,
and kisses are better fate
than wisdom
lady i swear by all flowers. Don’t cry
—the best gesture of my brain is less than
your eyelids’ flutter which says

we are for each other: then
laugh, leaning back in my arms
for life’s not a paragraph

And death i think is no parenthesis

But beautiful.

So now I have been wandering around, thinking my favorite poem opening line, since freedom is a breakfastfood, all morning. And I googled it, and the same poem has so many good lines, like “deeds cannot dream what dreams can do”. That’s been part of my brain for a decade now (!) – ten(ish) years ago my college roommate Meghan introduced me to Cummings by exuberantly quoting “i thank You God for most this amazing”, and it’s one of the best things I learned or discovered in college.



  1. i hate capitalization. happy birthday, e.e.!

  2. ten years. TEN YEARS! i know, it’s ridic. i love this poem, and now i’m a bit sad i haven’t listened to writer’s almanac in months. i’ll have to listen to today’s episode.

    i actually was thinking about YOU today as i looked up anne sexton poetry while feeding t. i don’t know if you like her, but it seemed like poetry you’d like.

  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Meghan MB, roamingolivia. roamingolivia said: Happy birthday to E.E. Cummings: […]

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