Sat 20 Aug 2005
A poet is one who can uniquely express himself in a way so honest that it moves the stranger reading his poetry.
Not only does he write eloquently but he also writes with an identifying mark of himself. I find this mark in the works of e. e. cummings. A man so expressly unique in his poetry that even his written name defies the laws of grammar.
E. e. cummings became my favorite poet when I sat in English class, looked down at my textbook, and thought that there must have been a missprint. I was wrong. What I saw was the fingerprint of a genius in a work of poetry. The gift that cummings had was the twisting of words and phrases. By breaking up words and defying all rules of grammar, cummings was able to express himself even more clearly in his writings.
His greatness was not through a perfect iambic pentameter or a flawless Petrarchan sonnet; it was through how honestly he expressed his thoughts. His works are listed among the names of Browning, Longfellow, and Coleridge; but his poetry is what stands out markedly different from them all. That difference was his perfection.
for prodigal read generous
–for youth read age–
read for sheer wonder mere surprise
(then turn the page)
contentment read for ecstasy
–for poem prose–
caution for curiosity
(and close your eyes)
– e. e. cummings (1894- 1962)