This is my first attempt to join in for Poetry Friday. I am doing so because of a thoughtful explanation post by Susan Thomsen on Chicken Spaghetti, which explained what Poetry Friday actually is and how to participate.
For my posts I thought it might be nice to go back in time to poems and books of poems I remember well from when I was very young-- poems that had lasting impressions on me. When I am finally able to dig up the Golden Book of poems I remember loving as a child, and which I recently found at a library book sale, I will post a picture and some thoughts about it. Unfortunately, the darn book lies buried somewhere in my house, nowhere to be found.
But for my first foray into posting about poetry, I go back to High School and e.e.cummings, or as I now see is more correct: E. E. Cummings. His was the first "modern" poetry I recall being introduced to. Although I would later come to know (when I devoured Charmed Circle in the 70's) that he was heavily influenced by Gertrude Stein, my memories of his poems and their effect on me are unaltered. Besides--I still feel that his work is more accessible than Stein's, and also more embraceable.
Not to mention more evocative of imagery. We all remember "in Just" (the balloon man who whistled far and weee).
Here is one that I still think about often. As an emotional, animal loving teen it brought tears to my eyes. Honest.
Since the site I took it from says I am allowed to email this poem to someone, I assume I can also post it:
Me up at does
out of the floor
a poisoned mouse
still who alive
is asking What
have i done that
You wouldn't have
There is a significant collection of poems by Cummings posted where I found this one. I still have a vague memory of one of his poems that contained the phrase “eggy yellow sunset”--a phrase that has come to mind every New England winter. I am unable to find that poem so far, but if anyone knows which poem it is from, please tell me.
While looking to learn more about Cummings, I came upon a very informative article, "The Rebellion of E.E. Cummings," written by Adam Kirsch for Harvard Magazine. Well worth a visit to read.