Classics  
Edward Estlin Cummings, popularly known as E. E. Cummings, with the abbreviated form of his name often written by others in all lowercase letters as e. e. cummings, was an American poet, painter, essayist, author, and playwright. His body of work encompasses approximately 2,900 poems, an autobiographical novel, four plays ... Read more
Edward Estlin Cummings, popularly known as E. E. Cummings, with the abbreviated form of his name often written by others in all lowercase letters as e. e. cummings, was an American poet, painter, essayist, author, and playwright. His body of work encompasses approximately 2,900 poems, an autobiographical novel, four plays ... Read more

i will wade out
                        till my thighs are steeped in burning flowers
I will take the sun in my mouth
and leap into the ripe air
                                       Alive
                                                 with closed eyes
to dash against darkness
                                       in the sleeping curves of my body
Shall enter fingers of smooth mastery
with chasteness of sea-girls
                                            Will i complete the mystery
                                            of my flesh
I will rise
               After a thousand years
lipping
flowers
             And set my teeth in the silver of the moon

i like my body when it is with your
body. It is so quite new a thing.
Muscles better and nerves more.
i like your body.  i like what it does,
i like its hows.  i like to feel the spine
of your body and its bones,and the trembling
-firm-smooth ness and which i will
again and again and again
kiss, i like kissing this and that of you,
i like, slowly stroking the,shocking fuzz
of your electric furr,and what-is-it comes
over parting flesh….And eyes big love-crumbs,

and possibly i like the thrill

of under me you so quite new

Humanity i love you
because you would rather black the boots of
success than enquire whose soul dangles from his
watch-chain which would be embarrassing for both

parties and because you
unflinchingly applaud all
songs containing the words country home and
mother when sung at the old howard

Humanity i love you because
when you’re hard up you pawn your
intelligence to buy a drink and when
you’re flush pride keeps

you from the pawn shop and
because you are continually committing
nuisances but more
especially in your own house

Humanity i love you because you
are perpetually putting the secret of
life in your pants and forgetting
it’s there and sitting down

on it
and because you are
forever making poems in the lap
of death Humanity

i hate you

i have found what you are like
the rain,

            (Who feathers frightened fields
with the superior dust-of-sleep. wields

easily the pale club of the wind
and swirled justly souls of flower strike

the air in utterable coolness

deeds of green thrilling light
                                  with thinned

newfragile yellows

                      lurch and.press

—in the woods
                      which
                              stutter
                                        and

                                              sing
And the coolness of your smile is
stirringofbirds between my arms;but
i should rather than anything
have(almost when hugeness will shut
quietly)almost,
                  your kiss

my love
thy hair is one kingdom
  the king whereof is darkness
thy forehead is a flight of flowers

thy head is a quick forest
  filled with sleeping birds
thy breasts are swarms of white bees
  upon the bough of thy body
thy body to me is April
in whose armpits is the approach of spring

thy thighs are white horses yoked to a chariot
  of kings
they are the striking of a good minstrel
between them is always a pleasant song

my love
thy head is a casket
  of the cool jewel of thy mind
the hair of thy head is one warrior
  innocent of defeat
thy hair upon thy shoulders is an army
  with victory and with trumpets

thy legs are the trees of dreaming
whose fruit is the very eatage of forgetfulness

thy lips are satraps in scarlet
  in whose kiss is the combinings of kings
thy wrists
are holy
  which are the keepers of the keys of thy blood
thy feet upon thy ankles are flowers in vases
  of silver

in thy beauty is the dilemma of flutes

  thy eyes are the betrayal
of bells comprehended through incense

If freckles were lovely, and day was night,
And measles were nice and a lie warn’t a lie,
Life would be delight,—
But things couldn’t go right
For in such a sad plight
I wouldn’t be I.

If earth was heaven and now was hence,
And past was present, and false was true,
There might be some sense
But I’d be in suspense
For on such a pretense
You wouldn’t be you.

If fear was plucky, and globes were square,
And dirt was cleanly and tears were glee
Things would seem fair,—
Yet they’d all despair,
For if here was there
We wouldn’t be we.

if i believe
in death be sure
of this
it is

because you have loved me,
moon and sunset
stars and flowers
gold crescendo and silver muting

of seatides
i trusted not,
                    one night
when in my fingers

drooped your shining body
when my heart
sang between your perfect
breasts

darkness and beauty of stars
was on my mouth petals danced
against my eyes
and down

the singing reaches of
my soul
spoke
the green-

greeting pale-
departing irrevocable
sea
i knew thee death.

                              and when
i have offered up each fragrant
night,when all my days
shall have before a certain

face become
white
perfume
only,
          from the ashes
then
thou wilt rise and thou
wilt come to her and brush

the mischief from her eyes and fold
her
mouth the new
flower with

thy unimaginable
wings,where dwells the breath
of all persisting stars

as is the sea marvelous
from god’s
hands which sent her forth
to sleep upon the world

and the earth withers
the moon crumbles
one by one
stars flutter into dust

but the sea
does not change
and she goes forth out of hands and
she returns into hands

and is with sleep….

love,
    the breaking

of your
        soul
        upon
my lips

let’s live suddenly without thinking

under honest trees,
                        a stream
does.the brain of cleverly-crinkling
-water pursues the angry dream
of the shore. By midnight,
                                a moon
scratches the skin of the organised hills

an edged nothing begins to prune

let’s live like the light that kills
and let’s as silence,
                            because Whirl’s after all:
(after me)love,and after you.
I occasionally feel vague how
vague idon’t know tenuous Now-
spears and The Then-arrows making do
our mouths something red,something tall

it may not always be so; and i say
that if your lips,which i have loved,should touch
another’s,and your dear strong fingers clutch
his heart,as mine in time not far away;
if on another’s face your sweet hair lay
in such silence as i know,or such
great writhing words as,uttering overmuch,
stand helplessly before the spirit at bay;

if this should be,i say if this should be—
you of my heart,send me a little word;
that i may go unto him,and take his hands,
saying,Accept all happiness from me.
Then shall i turn my face,and hear one bird
sing terribly afar in the lost lands

in the rain-
darkness,     the sunset
being sheathed i sit and
think of you

the holy
city which is your face
your little cheeks the streets
of smiles

your eyes half-
thrush
half-angel and your drowsy
lips where float flowers of kiss

and
there is the sweet shy pirouette
your hair
and then

your dancesong
soul.     rarely-beloved
a single star is
uttered,and i

think
       of you

somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond
any experience,your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near

your slightest look easily will unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skilfully,mysteriously)her first rose

or if your wish be to close me, i and
my life will shut very beautifully ,suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;

nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility:whose texture
compels me with the color of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing

(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens;only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands

a connotation of infinity
sharpens the temporal splendor of this night

when souls which have forgot frivolity
in lowliness,noting the fatal flight
of worlds whereto this earth’s a hurled dream

down eager avenues of lifelessness

consider for how much themselves shall gleam,
in the poised radiance of perpetualness.
When what’s in velvet beyond doomed thought

is like a woman amorous to be known;
and man,whose here is alway worse than naught,
feels the tremendous yonder for his own—

on such a night the sea through her blind miles

of crumbling silence seriously smiles

i will be
    M o ving in the Street of her

    bodyfee 1 inga ro undMe the traffic of
    lovely;muscles-sinke x p i r i n    g S
            uddeni
    Y         totouch
                             the curvedship of
                                                         Her-
    ….kiss      her:hands
                                    will play on,mE as
    dea d tunes OR s-crap p-y lea Ves flut te rin g
    from Hideous trees or

         Maybe Mandolins
                                      1 oo k-
         pigeons fly ingand

    whee(:are,SpRiN,k,LiNg an in-stant with sunLight
    then)!-
    ing all go BlacK wh-eel-ing

    oh
        ver
              mYveRylitTle

    street
    where
    you will come,

                             at twi li ght
    s(oon & there’s
    a             m oo
)n.

it is at moments after i have dreamed
of the rare entertainment of your eyes,
when(being fool to fancy)i have deemed

with your peculiar mouth my heart made wise;
at moments when the glassy darkness holds

the genuine apparition of your smile
(it was through tears always)and silence moulds
such strangeness as was mine a little while;

moments when my once more illustrious arms
are filled with fascination, when my breast
wears the intolerant brightness of your charms:

one pierced moment whiter than the rest

—turning from the tremendous lie of sleep
i watch the roses of the day grow deep.

who knows if the moon’s
a baloon,coming out of a keen city
in the sky—filled with pretty people?
(and if you and i should

get into it,if they
should take me and take you into their baloon,
why then
we’d go up higher with all the pretty people

than houses and steeples and clouds:
go sailing
away and away sailing into a keen
city which nobody’s ever visited,where

always
            it’s
                   Spring)and everyone’s
in love and flowers pick themselves

listen
beloved
i dreamed
  it appeared that you thought to
  escape me and became a great
  lily atilt on
  insolent
  waters    but i was aware of
  fragrance and i came riding upon
  a horse of porphyry    into the
  waters i rode down the red
  horse shrieking    from splintering
  foam caught you clutched you upon my
  mouth
listen
beloved
  i dreamed    in my dream you had
  desire to thwart me and became
  a little bird and hid
  in a tree of tall marble
  from a great way i distinguished
  singing and i came
  riding upon a scarlet sunset
  trampling the night    easily
  from the shocked impossible
  tower i caught
  you strained you
  broke you upon my blood
listen
  beloved i dreamed
  i thought you would have deceived
  me and became a star in the kingdom
  of heaven
  through day and space i saw you close
  your eyes    and i came riding
  upon a thousand crimson years arched with agony
  i reined them in tottering before
  the throne and as
  they shied at the automaton moon from
  the transplendant hand of sombre god
  i picked you
as an apple is picked by the little peasants for their girls

my love is building a building
around you,a frail slippery
house,a strong fragile house
(beginning at the singular beginning

of your smile)a skilful uncouth
prison, a precise clumsy
prison(building thatandthis into Thus,
Around the reckless magic of your mouth)

my love is building a magic, a discrete
tower of magic and(as i guess)

when Farmer Death(whom fairies hate)shall

crumble the mouth-flower fleet
He’ll not my tower,
                        laborious, casual

where the surrounded smile
                                hangs

                                          breathless

cruelly,love
walk the autumn long;
the last flower in whose hair,
they lips are cold with songs

for which is
first to wither,to pass?
shallowness of sunlight
falls,and cruelly,
across the grass
Comes the
moon

love,walk the
autumn
love,for the last
flower in the hair withers;
thy hair is acold with
dreams,
love thou art frail

—walk the longness of autumn
smile dustily to the people,
for winter
who crookedly care.

the rose
is dying the
lips of an old man murder

the petals
hush

mysteriously invisible mourners move
with prose faces and sobbing,garments
The symbol of the rose

motionless
with grieving feet and
wings
mounts

against the margins of steep song
a stallion swetneess    ,the

lips of an old man murder
the petals.

 
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