December 16, 2013

All Ignorance Toboggans Into Know

all ignorance toboggans into know
and trudges up to ignorance again:
but winter's not forever,even snow
melts;and if spring should spoil the game,what then?

all history's a winter sport or three:
but were it five,i'd still insist that all
history is too small for even me;
for me and you,exceedingly too small.

Swoop(shrill collective myth)into thy grave
merely to toil the scale to shrillerness
per every madge and mabel dick and dave
--tomorrow is our permanent address

and there they'll scarcely find us(if they do,
we'll move away still further:into now 



-- by e. e. cummings

7 comments:

  1. Have never heard that before! :-)

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    1. I just stumbled across it myself, as as we're in the season for toboggans (and other things), I thought, why not? :)

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  2. e.e.cummings always has been a bit of a stumbling block for me, even though I've a few favorites from his work. ("What if a much of a which of a wind...") I don't remember ever hearing this one before, and it took a few reads. Now? It's on my list of real favorites.

    I especially like the first two lines, and may even have a use for them down the road!

    I'm so happy to see your post. I'm sure you're deep into preparations for a wonderfully different Christmas. I hope it's filled with magic, wonderment and joy - as it surely will be.

    Merry Christmas!

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    1. Hi Linda,

      e.e.cummings has always been one of my favorites, but I think that has as much to do with what I don't understand of his work as what I do. Often I try not to worry about making sense of him; I just let the sound combinations collide in my head. It unsticks me. I do love that first stanza, though, this idea of comprehending how much we don't know, and then shooting back from it, unable to hold on to such a realization. How often do I feel that way! Especially as a mother of such a quickly changing boy.

      Thank you for your holiday well wishes. Same to you!

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  3. i love the part where it says "tomorrow is our permanent address." I don't know if it's because there's the idea that we will always have tomorrow, or that we are always striving for tomorrow. makes you think.

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    1. Agreed! I also love the idea of hiding away together in the very now, where so few of us are able to dwell (myself included). Thanks for reading!

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  4. I love e.e. cummings. The first poet that I really understood and could identify with other than Robert Frost. Of course, then I found Wendell Berry, and he touched my soul. This poem is so very nice! Thank You!

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