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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

a blue woman with sticking out breasts hanging
clothes.  On the line. not so old
for the mother of twelve undershirts(we are told
by is it Bishop Taylor who needs hanging

that marriage is a sure cure for masturbation).

                          A dirty wind,twitches the,clothes which are clean
—this is twilight,
                          a little puppy hopping between
skipping
              children
                            (It is the consummation
of day,the hour)she says to me you big fool
she says i says to her i says Sally
i says
          the


                  mmmoon,begins to,drool

softly,in the hot alley,

a nigger’s voice feels curiously cool
(suddenly-Lights go!on,by schedule

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

a thing most new complete fragile intense,
which wholly trembling memory undertakes
—your kiss,the little pushings of flesh,makes
my body sorry when the minute moon
is a remarkable splinter in the quick
of twilight
            ….or if sunsets utters one
unhurried muscled huge chromatic
fist skilfully modeling silence
—to feel how through the stopped entire day
horribly and seriously thrills
the moment of enthusiastic space
is a little wonderful, and say
Perhaps her body touched me;and to face
suddenly the lighted living hills

a wind has blown the rain away and blown
the sky away and all the leaves away,
and the trees stand.  I think i too have known
autumn too long

                  (and what have you to say,
wind wind wind—did you love somebody
and have you the petal of somewhere in your heart
pinched from dumb summer?
                            O crazy daddy
of death dance cruelly for us and start

the last leaf whirling in the final brain
of air!)Let us as we have seen see
doom’s integration………a wind has blown the rain

away and the leaves and the sky and the
trees stand:
             the trees stand.  The trees,
suddenly wait against the moon’s face.

after five
times the poem
of thy remembrance
surprises with refrain

of unreasoning summer
that by responding
ways cloaked with renewal
my body turns toward

thee
again     for the stars have been
finished in the nobler trees and
the language of leaves repeats

eventual perfection
while east deserves of dawn.
i lie at length,breathing
with shut eyes

the sweet earth where thou liest

All in green went my love riding
on a great horse of gold
into the silver dawn.

four lean hounds crouched low and smiling
the merry deer ran before.

Fleeter be they than dappled dreams
the swift sweet deer
the red rare deer.

Horn at hip went my love riding
riding the echo down
into the silver dawn.

four lean hounds crouched low and smiling
the level meadows ran before.

Softer be they than slippered sleep
the lean lithe deer
the fleet flown deer.

Four fleet does at a gold valley
the famished arrows sang before.

Bow at belt went my love riding
riding the mountain down into the silver dawn.

four lean hounds crouched low and smiling
the sheer peaks ran before.

Paler be they than daunting death
the sleek slim deer
the tall tense deer.

Four tall stags at a green mountain
the lucky hunter sang before.

All in green went my love riding
on a great horse of gold
into the silver dawn.

four lean hounds crouched low and smiling
my heart fell dead before.

and this day it was Spring….us
drew lewdly the murmurous minute clumsy
smelloftheworld.    We intricately
alive,cleaving the luminous stammer of bodies
(eagerly just not each other touch)seeking,some
street which easily tickles a brittle fuss
of fragile huge humanity….
                                        Numb
thoughts,kicking in the rivers of our blood,miss
by how terrible inches speech—it
made you a little dizzy did the world’s smell
(but i was thinking why the girl-and-bird
of you move….moves….and also,i’ll admit—)

till,at the corner of Nothing and Something,we heard
a handorgan in twilight playing like hell

and what were roses.  Perfume?for i do
forget…or mere Music mounting unsurely

twilight
            but here were something more maturely
childish,more beautiful almost than you.

Yet if not flower,tell me softly who

be these haunters of dreams always demurely
halfsmiling from cool faces,moving purely
with muted steps,yet somewhat proudly too—

are they not ladies,ladies of my dreams
justly touching roses their fingers whitely
live by?
            or better,
                            queens,queens laughing lightly
crowned with far colors,

                                  thinking very much
of nothing and whom dawn loves most to touch

wishing by willows,bending upon streams?

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

Babylon slim
-ness of
evenslicing
eyes are chisels

scarlet Goes
with her
whitehot
face,gashed

by hair’s blue cold

jolts of
lovecrazed abrupt

flesh split “Pretty
Baby”
to
numb rhythm before christ

being
twelve
who hast merely
gonorrhea

            Oldeyed
child, to
ambitious weeness
of boots

tiny
add
death
what

shall?

between green
                        mountains
sings the flinger
of

fire    beyond red rivers
of fair perpetual
feet the
sinuous

             riot

the
flashing
bacchant.

partedpetaled
mouth,face
delirious.­   indivisible
grace

           of dancing

between the breasts
of bestial
Marj lie large
men who praise

Marj’s cleancornered strokable
body      these men’s
fingers toss trunks
shuffle sacks spin kegs they

curl
loving
around
beers

      the world has
these men’s hands but their
bodies big and boozing
belong to

Marj
the greenslim purse of whose
face opens
on a fatgold

grin
hooray
hoorah for the large
men who lie

between the breasts
of bestial Marj
for the strong men
who

sleep between the legs of Lil

beyond the brittle towns asleep

beyond the brittle towns asleep
i look where stealing needles of foam
in the last light

thread the creeping shores


as out of dumb strong hands infinite

the erect deep upon me
in the last light
pours its eyeless miles


the chattering sunset ludicrously
dies,i hear only tidewings

in the last light
twitching at the world

Buffalo Bill ’s
defunct
          who used to
          ride a watersmooth-silver
                                        stallion
and break onetwothreefourfive pigeonsjustlikethat

                                                      Jesus
he was a handsome man
                        and what i want to know is
how do you like your blueeyed boy
Mister Death

but the other
day i was passing a certain
gate,   rain
fell(as it will

in spring)
ropes
of silver gliding from sunny
thunder into freshness

as if god’s flowers were
pulling upon bells of
gold    i looked
up

and
thought to myself   Death
and will You with
elaborate fingers possibly touch

the pink hollyhock existence whose
pansy eyes look from morning till
night into the street
unchangingly    the always

old lady sitting in her
gentle window like
a reminiscence
partaken

softly    at whose gate smile
always the chosen
flowers of reminding

consider O
woman this
my body.
for it has

lain
with empty arms
upon the giddy hills
to dream of you,

approve these
firm unsated
eyes
which have beheld

night’s speechless carnival
the painting
of the dark
with meteors

streaming from playful
immortal hands
the bursting
of the wafted stars

(in time to come you shall
remember of this night amazing
ecstasies     slowly,
in the glutted

heart fleet
flowerterrible
memories
shall

rise,slowly
return upon the
                  red elected lips

scaleless visions)

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.

Doll’s boy ’s asleep
under a stile
he sees eight and twenty
ladies in a line

the first lady
says to nine ladies
his lips drink water
but his heart drinks wine

the tenth lady
says to nine ladies
they must chain his foot
for his wrist ’s too fine

the nineteenth
says to nine ladies
you take his mouth
for his eyes are mine.

Doll’s boy ’s asleep
under the stile
for every mile the feet go
the heart goes nine

I.

Thou aged unreluctant earth who dost
with quivering continual thighs invite
the thrilling rain the slender paramour
to toy with thy extraordinary lust,
(the sinuous rain which rising from thy bed
steals to his wife the sky and hour by hour
wholly renews her pale flesh with delight)
—immortally whence are the high gods fled?

Speak elm eloquent pandar with thy nod
significant to the ecstatic earth
in token of his coming whom her soul
burns to embrace—and didst thou know the god
from but the imprint of whose cloven feet
the shrieking dryad sought her leafy goal,
at the mere echo of whose shining mirth
the furious hearts of mountains ceased to beat?

Wind beautifully who wanderest
over smooth pages of forgotten joy
proving the peaceful theorems of the flowers
—didst e’er depart upon more exquisite quest?
and did thy fortunate fingers sometime dwell
(within a greener shadow of secret bowers)
among the curves of that delicious boy
whose serious grace one goddess loved too well?

Chryselephantine Zeus Olympian
sceptred colossus of the Pheidian soul
whose eagle frights creation,in whose palm
Nike presents the crown sweetest to man,
whose lilied robe the sun’s white hands emboss,
betwixt whose absolute feet anoint with calm
of intent stars circling the acerb pole
poises,smiling,the diadumenos

in whose young chiseled eyes the people saw
their once again victorious Pantarkes
(whose grace the prince of artists made him bold
to imitate between the feet of awe),
thunderer whose omnipotent brow showers
its curls of unendured eternal gold
over the infinite breast in bright degrees,
whose pillow is the graces and the hours,

father of gods and men whose subtle throne
twain sphinxes bear each with a writhing youth
caught to her brazen breasts,whose foot-stool tells
how fought the looser of the warlike zone
of her that brought forth tall Hippolytus,
lord on whose pedestal the deep expels
(over Selene’s car closing uncouth)
of Helios the sweet wheels tremulous—

are there no kings in Argos,that the song
is silent,of the steep unspeaking tower
within whose brightening strictness Danae
saw the night severed and the glowing throng
descend,felt on her flesh the amorous strain
of gradual hands and yielding to that fee
her eager body’s unimmortal flower
knew in the darkness a more burning rain?

                    2.

And still the mad magnificent herald Spring
assembles beauty from forgetfulness
with the wild trump of April:witchery
of sound and odour drives the wingless thing
man forth in the bright air,for now the red
leaps in the maple’s cheek,and suddenly
by shining hordes in sweet unserious dress
ascends the golden crocus from the dead.

On dappled dawn forth rides the pungent sun
with hooded day preening upon his hand
followed by gay untimid final flowers
(which dressed in various tremulous armor stun
the eyes of ragged earth who sees them pass)
while hunted from his kingdom winter cowers,
seeing green armies steadily expand
hearing the spear-song of the marching grass.

A silver sudden parody of snow
tickles the air to golden tears,and hark!
the flicker’s laughing yet,while on the hills
the pines deepen to whispers primeval and throw
backward their foreheads to the barbarous bright
sky,and suddenly from the valley thrills
the unimaginable upward lark
and drowns the earth and passes into light

(slowly in life’s serene perpetual round
a pale world gathers comfort to her soul,
hope richly scattered by the abundant sun
invades the new mosaic of the ground
—let but the incurious curtaining dusk be drawn
surpassing nets are sedulously spun
to snare the brutal dew,—the authentic scroll
of fairie hands and vanishing with the dawn).

Spring,that omits no mention of desire
in every curved and curling thing,yet holds
continuous intercourse—through skies and trees
the lilac’s smoke the poppy’s pompous fire
the pansy’s purple patience and the grave
frailty of daises—by what rare unease
revealed of teasingly transparent folds—
with man’s poor soul superlatively brave.

Surely from robes of particoloured peace
with mouth flower-faint and undiscovered eyes
and dim slow perfect body amorous
(whiter than lilies which are born and cease
for being whiter than this world)exhales
the hovering high perfume curious
of that one month for whom the whole years dies,
risen at length from palpitating veils.

O still miraculous May!O shining girl
of time untarnished!O small intimate
gently primeval hands,frivolous feet
divine!O singular and breathless pearl!
O indefinable frail ultimate pose!
O visible beatitude sweet sweet
intolerable!silence immaculate
of god’s evasive audible great rose!

                    3.

Lover,lead forth thy love unto that bed
prepared by whitest hands of waiting years,
curtained with wordless worship absolute,
unto the certain altar at whose head
stands that clear candle whose expecting breath
exults upon the tongue of flame half-mute,
(haste ere some thrush with silver several tears
complete the perfumed paraphrase of death).

Now is the time when all occasional things
close into silence,only one tree,one
svelte translation of eternity
unto the pale meaning of heaven clings,
(whose million leaves in winsome indolence
simmer upon thinking twilight momently)
as down the oblivious west’s numerous dun
magnificence conquers magnificence.

In heaven’s intolerable athanor
inimitably tortured the base day
utters at length her soft intrinsic hour,
and from those tenuous fires which more and more
sink and are lost the divine alchemist,
the magus of creation,lifts a flower—
whence is the world’s insufferable clay
clothed with incognizable amethyst.

Lady at whose imperishable smile
the amazed doves flicker upon sunny wings
as if in terror of eternity,
(or seeming that they would mistrust a while
the moving of beauteous dead mouths throughout
that very proud transparent company
of quivering ghosts-of-love which scarcely sings
drifting in slow diaphanous faint rout),

queen in the inconceivable embrace
of whose tremendous hair that blossom stands
whereof is most desire,yet less than those
twain perfect roses whose ambrosial grace,
goddess,thy crippled thunder-forging groom
or the loud lord of skipping maenads knows,—
having Discordia’s apple in thy hands,
which the scared shepherd gave thee for his doom—

O thou within the chancel of whose charms
the tall boy god of everlasting war
received the shuddering sacrament of sleep,
betwixt whose cool incorrigible arms
impaled upon delicious mystery,
with gaunt limbs reeking of the whispered deep,
deliberate groping ocean fondled o’er
the warm long flower of unchastity,

imperial Cytherea,from frail foam
sprung with irrevocable nakedness
to strike the young world into smoking song—
as the first star perfects the sensual dome
of darkness,and the sweet strong final bird
transcends the sight,O thou to whom belong
th ehearts of lovers!—I beseech thee bless
thy suppliant singer and his wandering word.

 
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