Monday, July 7, 2008

little you-i

e.e. cummings wasn't meant to be confined to the page. He was meant to be read out loud. His words are a party of sounds, alliterations and assonances, rhymes and off-rhymes, swung into a rhythmic celebration. It's beautiful. "87" is particularly delightful to hear. It may feel a little silly reading out loud to yourself, but go ahead and give it a shot. I particularly like the nose-dive at the end which feels like it doesn't fit at all, which is precisely why it works. I won't even attempt to guess at it's meaning. Poetry doesn't have to mean. It can just be. No need to beat a symbolic meaning out of it, just enjoy the sounds of the words as they roll easily off the tongue.

e.e. cummings

o by the by
has anybody seen
little you-i
who stood on a green
hill and threw
his wish at blue

with a swoop and a dart
out flew his wish
(it dived like a fish
but it climbed like a dream)
throbbing like a heart
singing like a flame

blue took it my
far beyond far
and high beyond high
bluer took it your
but bluest took it our
away beyond where

what a wonderful thing
is the end of a string
(murmurs little you-i
as the hill becomes nil)
and will somebody tell
me why people let go
e.e. cummings the poet was also a playwright. He said of one very unorthodox play:
"Relax and give the play a chance to strut its stuff—relax, stop wondering what it is all 'about'—like many strange and familiar things, Life included, this play isn't 'about,' it simply is. . . . Don't try to enjoy it, let it try to enjoy you. DON'T TRY TO UNDERSTAND IT, LET IT TRY TO UNDERSTAND YOU."
I think the same statement can apply to a great deal of poetry. Don't overthink the beautiful and unfamiliar or try to conform it to your view of life. Just let it exist in it's own quirkiness.

1 comment:

Debbie said...

It is a commentary about the lunacy of letting go of your dreams