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e.e. cummings Poems

snow


e.e. cummings
October 14, 1894 – September 3, 1962
American poet, painter, essayist, author, and playwright





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Chansons Innocentes: I

in Just-
spring      when the world is mud-
luscious the little
lame balloonman

whistles      far      and wee

and eddieandbill come
running from marbles and
piracies and it's
spring

when the world is puddle-wonderful

the queer
old balloonman whistles
far      and      wee
and bettyandisbel come dancing

from hop-scotch and jump-rope and

it's
spring
and
      the
            goat-footed

balloonMan      whistles
far
and
wee
The Eagle

It was one of those clear,sharp, mustless days
        That summer and man delight in.
Never had Heaven seemed quite so high,
Never had earth seemed quite so green,
Never had the world seemed quite so clean
Or sky so nigh.
        And I heard the Deity's voice in
            The sun's warm rays,
        And the white cloud's intricate maze,
And the blue sky's beautiful sheen.

                 

I looked to the heavens and saw him there,—
        A black speck downward drifting,
Nearer and nearer he steadily sailed,
Nearer and nearer he slid through space,
In an unending aerial race,
      This sailor who hailed
      From the Clime of the Clouds.—Ever shifting,
            On billows of air
        And the blue sky seemed never so fair,
And the rest of the world kept pace.

                 

On the white of his head the sun flashed bright;
        And he battled the wind with wide pinions,
Clearer and clearer the gale whistled loud,
Clearer and clearer he came into view,—
Bigger and blacker against the blue.
        Then a dragon of cloud
        Gathering all its minions
            Rushed to the fight,
        And swallowed him up in a bite;
And the sky lay empty clear through.

                 

Long I watched.  And at last afar
        Caught sight of a speck in the vastness;
Ever smaller,ever decreasing,
Ever drifting,drifting awayInto the endless realms of day;
        Finally ceasing.
        So into Heaven's vast fastness
          Vanished that bar
Of black,as a fluttering star
Goes out while still on its way.

                   

So I lost him.  But I shall always see
            In my mind
The warm,yellow sun,and the ether free;
The vista's sky,and the white cloud trailing,
        Trailing behind,—
And below the young earth's summer-green arbors,
And on high the eagle,—sailing,sailing
        Into far skies and unknown harbors
it is at moments after I have dreamed

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
my girl's tall with hard long eyes

my girl's tall with hard long eyes
as she stands, with her long hard hands keeping
silence on her dress, good for sleeping
is her long hard body filled with surprise
like a white shocking wire, when she smiles
a hard long smile it sometimes makes
gaily go clean through me tickling aches,
and the weak noise of her eyes easily files
my impatience to an edge—my girl's tall
and taut, with thin legs just like a vine
that's spent all of its life on a garden-wall,
and is going to die.  When we grimly go to bed
with these legs she begins to heave and twine
about me, and to kiss my face and head.
when serpents bargain

when serpents bargain for the right to squirm
and the sun strikes to gain a living wage -
when thorns regard their roses with alarm
and rainbows are insured against old age

when every thrush may sing no new moon in
if all screech-owls have not okayed his voice
- and any wave signs on the dotted line
or else an ocean is compelled to close

when the oak begs permission of the birch
to make an acorn - valleys accuse their
mountains of having altitude - and march
denounces april as a saboteur

then we'll believe in that incredible
unanimal mankind (and not until)
red-rag and pink-flag

red-rag and pink-flag
blackshirt and brown
strut-mince and stink-brag
have all come to town

some like it shot
and some like it hung
and some like it in the twot
nine months young
my love

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 those 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
in the rain-

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 dance song
soul rarely-beloved
a single star is
uttered, and i

think
of you
All in green went my love riding

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 red deer
the red rare deer.

Four red roebuck at a white water
the cruel bugle sang before.

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 arrow 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 the 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.
Of Nicolette

dreaming in marble all the castle lay
like some gigantic ghost-flower born of night
blossoming in white towers to the moon,
soft sighed the passionate darkness to the tune
of tiny troubadours,and(phantom-white)
dumb-blooming boughs let fall their glorious snows
and the unearthly sweetness of a rose
swam upward from the troubled heart of May;

a Winged Passion woke and one by one
there fell upon the night,like angel's tears,
the syllables of that mysterious prayer,
and as an opening lily drowsy-fair
(when from her couch of poppy petals peers
the sleepy morning)gently draws apart
her curtains,and lays bare her trembling heart,
with beads of dew made jewels by the sun,

so one high shining tower(which as a glass
turned light to flame and blazed with snowy fire)
unfolding,gave the moon a nymphlike face,
a form whose snowy symmetry of grace
haunted the limbs as music haunts the lyre,
a creature of white hands,who letting fall
a thread of lustre from the castle wall
glided,a drop of radiance,to the grass-

shunning the sudden moonbeam's treacherous snare
she sought the harbouring dark,and(catching up
her delicate silk)all white,with shining feet,
went forth into the dew:right wildly beat
her heart at every kiss of daisy-cup,
and from her cheek the beauteous colour went
with every bough that reverently bent
to touch the yellow wonder of her hair.
if you like my poems let them

if you like my poems let them
walk in the evening,a little behind you

then people will say
"Along this road i saw a princess pass
on her way to meet her lover(it was
toward nightfall)with tall and ignorant servants."
nobody loses all the time

nobody loses all the time

i had an uncle named
Sol who was a born failure and
nearly everybody said he should have gone
into vaudeville perhaps because my Uncle Sol could
sing McCann He Was A Diver on Xmas Eve like Hell Itself which
may or may not account for the fact that my Uncle

Sol indulged in that possibly most inexcusable
of all to use a highfalootin phrase
luxuries that is or to
wit farming and be
it needlessly
added

my Uncle Sol's farm
failed because the chickens
ate the vegetables so
my Uncle Sol had a
chicken farm till the
skunks ate the chickens when

my Uncle Sol
had a skunk farm but
the skunks caught cold and
died so
my Uncle Sol imitated the
skunks in a subtle manner

or by drowning himself in the watertank
but somebody who'd given my Unde Sol a Victor
Victrola and records while he lived presented to
him upon the auspicious occasion of his decease a
scrumptious not to mention splendiferous funeral with
tall boys in black gloves and flowers and everything and

i remember we all cried like the Missouri
when my Uncle Sol's coffin lurched because
somebody pressed a button
(and down went
my Uncle
Sol

and started a worm farm)

lily has a rose

lily has a rose
(i have none)
"don't cry dear violet
you may take mine"

"o how how how
could i ever wear it now
when the boy who gave it to
you is the tallest of the boys"

"he'll give me another
if i let him kiss me twice
but my lover has a brother
who is good and kind to all"

"o no no no
let the roses come and go
for kindness and goodness do
not make a fellow tall"

lily has a rose
no rose i've
and losing's less than winning(but
love is more than love)
the hills
the hills
like poets put on
purple thought against
the

magnificent clamor of
day
tortured
in gold, which presently

crumpled
collapses
exhaling a red soul into the dark

so
duneyed master
enter
the sweet gates

of my heart and
take

the
rose,

which perfect
is
With killing hands

you being in love...

you being in love
will tell who softly asks in love,

am i separated from your body smile brain hands merely
to become the jumping puppets of a dream?   oh i mean:
entirely having in my careful how
careful arms created this at length
inexcusable, this inexplicable pleasure-you go from several
persons: believe me that strangers arrive
when i have kissed you into a memory
slowly, oh seriously
-that since and if you disappear

solemnly
myselves
ask "life, the question how do i drink dream smile

and how do i prefer this face to another and
why do i weep eat sleep-what does the whole intend"
they wonder. oh and they cry "to be, being, that i am alive
this absurd fraction in its lowest terms
with everything cancelled
but shadows
-what does it all come down to?    love?     Love
if you like and i like,for the reason that i
hate people and lean out of this window is love,love
and the reason that i laugh and breathe is oh love and the reason
that i do not fall into this street is love."




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