Monday, April 22, 2013

i saw in yesterday your pretty when

I almost called this "in crude homage to edward estlin," but I thought maybe that would be too predictable.

Most people know about E.E. Cummings's free verse.  I first came into contact with his name, if not his poetry, from a poster in my seventh-grade English classroom.  (Does anyone remember Mr. Clancy from Redwood Junior High?  No?)  I don't think I actually read any of his poems until rather much later.  I did hear an exquisite (and in context, wholly inappropriate) love poem of his in Woody Allen's Hannah and Her Sisters, entitled "somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond."

I may as well say that although his deconstructive approach to grammar is refreshing, I find some of his poems orthographically grotesque.  Not for the reasons most frequently cited; I have no problem with his lack of capitalization (I do that myself in chats), or his exuberantly nested parentheticals, or anything pedestrian like that.  No, what bothers me are the superlatively trivial things, like not having a space after commas (see above, you have no idea how that killed me to accurately reproduce his title), or before parentheses, and that sort of thing.

Anyway, because of the renown of his free verse, not many people know that he wrote sonnets, too, and intensely romantic ones at that.  Sonnet XCII of his 95 Poems is one of his better known ones; it goes

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)

                                                                    i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

(It's a good thing that all I had to do was cut and paste; I don't know that I could have elided all those spaces otherwise.)  Anyway, here's my tyro's try at the same kind of thing, and at least it's honest, it's a thing I feel (and doggone it, I shall put spaces where I will):

i saw in yesterday your pretty when

i saw in yesterday your pretty when
and past a rise your beautifully where
(i do lose during you my now and then,
and inside you(r inside) my here and there).
since draw me to your captivating why
(a finger may mislead, i have no who
that cries the how you tear), i heard them sigh
your fragile yes or maybe noes to do.
with you i have no ask or answer (no
inquire or wonder, neither no believe,
no yet or still, no if (or so, or so)
for(giving life, where is no is to grieve))
but breath demanding breath, each every day
in death for(little death) you to replay.

Copyright © 2013 Brian Tung

1 comment:

  1. may i feel said he (e.e. cummings)

    may i feel said he
    (i'll squeal said she
    just once said he)
    it's fun said she

    (may i touch said he
    how much said she
    a lot said he)
    why not said she

    (let's go said he
    not too far said she
    what's too far said he
    where you are said she)

    may i stay said he
    (which way said she
    like this said he
    if you kiss said she

    may i move said he
    is it love said she)
    if you're willing said he
    (but you're killing said she

    but it's life said he
    but your wife said she
    now said he)
    ow said she

    (tiptop said he
    don't stop said she
    oh no said he)
    go slow said she

    (cccome?said he
    ummm said she)
    you're divine!said he
    (you are Mine said she)