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eNOTHING has a mission: To bring poetry, arts and music to the streets via a growing artistic Twitter communicty.

POEM OF THE DAY -- "Father Dear" by E E Cummings

E.E. Cummings is well recognized as one of the most influential and popular poets of the 20th Century.  His body of work encompasses more than 2900 poems, 2 Novels, four plays and several essays, as well as numerous drawings and paintings.  Despite his first novel being critically acclaimed by such as F. Scott Fitzgerald, it's his poetry and quotes which live on in infamy and popularity.

Cummings' work is most recognized by his inventive use of punctuation, grammar and syntax, as well as the first poet to experiment and perfect the actual placement and appearance of the words upon the page.  This actually became evident even at the remarkable age of 6 years old, in which what many believe was his very first poem, written to his father.

The picture on the right is of a young Cummings with his father and sister on a hammock...

It's actually remarkable that this poem was preserved or discovered!

Enjoy this precursor of things to come:


FATHER DEAR 

By EE Cummings (age 6)

FATHER DEAR. BE, YOUR FATHER-GOOD AND GOOD,

HE IS GOOD NOW, IT IS NOT GOOD TO SEE IT RAIN,

FATHER DEAR IS, IT, DEAR, NO FATHER DEAR,


LOVE, YOU DEAR,


ESTLIN

Top 100 Poems of All Time -- "I Hear America Singing" by Walt Whitman

There are so many great poems, great poets, undiscovered talent and surprises in the world of poetry, verse, and art.  You just need to have access to it all.  Today, we're very lucky.  With the accessibility of the internet, laptops, wireless everywhere and now cell phones - you CAN stay on top of everything.

Today's poem is one of Walt Whitman's all time great poems - forgotten by me since I began this blog 5 years ago.  But reading an article today in the London Times (online, of course) about poetry, this great poem was remembered as one of the 10 greatest poems ever (interesting opinion of an American poem in British culture).  So -- here it is for you to enjoy!

Oh yeah, don't forget the picture I choose of Whitman, which is the "middle-aged guy", they way he looked for most of his life, since I find the "bearded one" quite formidable.  Enjoy!

I Hear America Singing

by Walt Whitman

I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear,

Those of mechanics, each one singing his as it should be blithe and strong,

The carpenter singing his as he measures his plank or beam,

The mason singing his as he makes ready for work, or leaves off work,

The boatman singing what belongs to him in his boat, the deckhand singing on the steamboat deck,

The shoemaker singing as he sits on his bench, the hatter singing as he stands,

The wood-cutter’s song, the ploughboy’s on his way in the morning, or at noon intermission or at sundown,
The delicious singing of the mother, or of the young wife at work, or of the girl sewing or washing,

Each singing what belongs to him or her and to none else,

The day what belongs to the day — at night the party of young fellows, robust, friendly,

Singing with open mouths their strong melodious songs.

Poem of the Day -- "Sunday Morning" by Wallace Stevens

This is one of Wallace Stevens earliest poems - at the time it was an early breakthrough for Stevens; the poem was published in an early edition of "Poetry" magazine.  This poem is atypical of a Stevens poem; it is very structured and rhythm is just as important as his choice of wordplay in the abstract..in fact rhythm is far more important.

This emphasis on structure and rhythm is not really unusual though; many poets can look back at their earliest works and see more traditional approaches to the art, as they find their "wings" so to speak.

Stevens deeply contemplative, philosophical vision is there, though.  A poem about (and of doubt) the existence of God, paradise and the world of man that challenges traditional assumptions...it's a beautiful piece of work by a monumental poet!

Enjoy!

Sunday Morning

By Wallace Stevens

 
I


Complacencies of the peignoir, and late

Coffee and oranges in a sunny chair,

And the green freedom of a cockatoo

Upon a rug mingle to dissipate

The holy hush of ancient sacrifice.

She dreams a little, and she feels the dark

Encroachment of that old catastrophe,

As a calm darkens among water-lights.

The pungent oranges and bright, green wings

Seem things in some procession of the dead,

Winding across wide water, without sound.

The day is like wide water, without sound,

Stilled for the passing of her dreaming feet

Over the seas, to silent Palestine,

Dominion of the blood and sepulchre.



II


Why should she give her bounty to the dead?

What is divinity if it can come

Only in silent shadows and in dreams?

Shall she not find in comforts of the sun,

In pungent fruit and bright, green wings, or else

In any balm or beauty of the earth,

Things to be cherished like the thought of heaven?

Divinity must live within herself:

Passions of rain, or moods in falling snow;

Grievings in loneliness, or unsubdued

Elations when the forest blooms; gusty

Emotions on wet roads on autumn nights;

All pleasures and all pains, remembering

The bough of summer and the winter branch.

These are the measures destined for her soul.



III


Jove in the clouds had his inhuman birth.

No mother suckled him, no sweet land gave

Large-mannered motions to his mythy mind.

He moved among us, as a muttering king,

Magnificent, would move among his hinds,

Until our blood, commingling, virginal,

With heaven, brought such requital to desire

The very hinds discerned it, in a star.

Shall our blood fail? Or shall it come to be

The blood of paradise? And shall the earth

Seem all of paradise that we shall know?

The sky will be much friendlier then than now,

A part of labor and a part of pain,

And next in glory to enduring love,

Not this dividing and indifferent blue.



IV


She says, “I am content when wakened birds,

Before they fly, test the reality

Of misty fields, by their sweet questionings;

But when the birds are gone, and their warm fields

Return no more, where, then, is paradise?”

There is not any haunt of prophecy,

Nor any old chimera of the grave,

Neither the golden underground, nor isle

Melodious, where spirits gat them home,

Nor visionary south, nor cloudy palm

Remote on heaven’s hill, that has endured

As April’s green endures; or will endure

Like her remembrance of awakened birds,

Or her desire for June and evening, tipped

By the consummation of the swallow’s wings.



V


She says, “But in contentment I still feel

The need of some imperishable bliss.”

Death is the mother of beauty; hence from her,

Alone, shall come fulfilment to our dreams

And our desires. Although she strews the leaves

Of sure obliteration on our paths,

The path sick sorrow took, the many paths

Where triumph rang its brassy phrase, or love

Whispered a little out of tenderness,

She makes the willow shiver in the sun

For maidens who were wont to sit and gaze

Upon the grass, relinquished to their feet.

She causes boys to pile new plums and pears

On disregarded plate. The maidens taste

And stray impassioned in the littering leaves.



VI


Is there no change of death in paradise?

Does ripe fruit never fall? Or do the boughs

Hang always heavy in that perfect sky,

Unchanging, yet so like our perishing earth,

With rivers like our own that seek for seas

They never find, the same receding shores

That never touch with inarticulate pang?

Why set the pear upon those river banks

Or spice the shores with odors of the plum?

Alas, that they should wear our colors there,

The silken weavings of our afternoons,

And pick the strings of our insipid lutes!

Death is the mother of beauty, mystical,

Within whose burning bosom we devise

Our earthly mothers waiting, sleeplessly.



VII


Supple and turbulent, a ring of men

Shall chant in orgy on a summer morn

Their boisterous devotion to the sun,

Not as a god, but as a god might be,

Naked among them, like a savage source.

Their chant shall be a chant of paradise,

Out of their blood, returning to the sky;

And in their chant shall enter, voice by voice,

The windy lake wherein their lord delights,

The trees, like serafin, and echoing hills,

That choir among themselves long afterward.

They shall know well the heavenly fellowship

Of men that perish and of summer morn.

And whence they came and whither they shall go

The dew upon their feet shall manifest.



VIII


She hears, upon that water without sound,

A voice that cries, “The tomb in Palestine

Is not the porch of spirits lingering.

It is the grave of Jesus, where he lay.”

We live in an old chaos of the sun,

Or old dependency of day and night,

Or island solitude, unsponsored, free,

Of that wide water, inescapable.

Deer walk upon our mountains, and the quail

Whistle about us their spontaneous cries;

Sweet berries ripen in the wilderness;

And, in the isolation of the sky,

At evening, casual flocks of pigeons make

Ambiguous undulations as they sink,

Downward to darkness, on extended wings.

Poem "Ode to the Architect" -- by Thomas Herr

This is a simple poem about an amazing, gentle, loving man - who helped to make me who I am today.

Ode to the Architect

By Thomas Herr

Walking along the sidewalk with the architect
Maple spinners falling like helicopters around us, occasionally
Old leaves playing on the ground in the gentle wind

Shielded by the shade of the grand old spirit trees of Ashland Avenue.
 

Kicking stones, passing homes 
Holding grandpas gentle spotted hand. 
Happy Happy Happy 
Just to say I loved the man.
 

Walking to the barber shop 
We carefully measure our steps on the sidewalk 
          2 steps per crack 
(don't break your mothers back)!
 

Hands full of bottles and cans 
Hearts full of chuckle
Turning the corner we walk up the steps of the variety store
We redeem them for gum and comics

Then get a haircut with tonic- 


with no complaints, just gratitude 

Bazooka and Superman to sustain us.
Those were the days.

Poem of the Day -- "Ode to Federico Garcia Lorca" by Pablo Neruda

This is a poem of friendship between two Spanish-Language poetry icons, the great Chilean Poet Pablo Neruda, and the great Spanish Surrealist, Federico Garcia Lorca.

During the mid 1930's, when Neruda was fulfilling his position as Chile's Consul in Barcelona, it was Federico Garcia Lorca who would introduce Neruda at readings and celebrations of poetry; helping to launch the poetic career of the great Neruda in Spain.  Their meeting and friendship was strong and fast, and their influence on each other was profound - resulting in this beautiful ode, a crossing of styles, and unfortunately, a very mournful and riveting eulogy upon determination of Lorca's death (which I'll eventually share with you on this blog) by Neruda himself.

Enjoy this beautiful piece; atypical of Neruda's work, but this ode is written beautifully, and serves to illustrate the talents and soul of Lorca through the eyes and soul of a brilliant poet himself.

Ode to Federico Garcia Lorca

By Pablo Neruda

If I could cry out of fear in a lonely house,
if I could take out my eyes and eat them,
I would do it for your mournful orange tree voice
and for your poetry that comes out screaming.

 
Because for you they paint the hospitals blue,
and the schools and seaside barrios swell
and are populated with the feathers of injured angels
and are covered with the scales of bridal fish,
and the sea urchins are taking to the sky:
for you the tailor’s shops with their black membranes
filled with blood and spoons,
and they swallow torn ribbons, and they murder with kisses,
and they dress in white.


When you fly away dressed as a peach,
when you laugh the laugh of hurricane-thrown rice,
when you sing you make teeth and arteries tremble,
throat and fingers,
I would die for the dulcet thing that you are,
I would die for the red lakes
where you live in the middle of autumn
with a fallen steed and a blood-soaked God,
I would die for the cemeteries
that pass by like ashen rivers
with water and tombs,
at night, amongst muffled bells:
rivers thick as bedrooms
of ill soldiers, who suddenly swell
toward death in rivers with marble numbers
and decaying garlands, and funeral oils:
I could die from seeing you at night
gazing past the piled-high crosses,
standing crying,
because before the river of death you cry
abandonedly, injuredly,
you cry crying, with eyes full
of tears, of tears, of tears. 


If I could at night, hopelessly alone,
amass oblivion and shadow and smoke
above railroads and steamboats,
with a black funnel,
chewing the ashes,
I would make the tree in which you grow,
the nests of golden water that you gather,
and the vine that covers your bones
communicating the secret of the night.


Cities that smell of wet onion
wait for you to pass by singing hoarsely,
and silent ships of semen pursue you,
and green swallows nest in your hair,
and seashells and weekdays, too,
furled masts and cherries
definitively spin when
your pale head of fifteen eyes
and your mouth immersed in blood appear.


If I could fill the city halls with soot,
and, sobbing, tear down clocks,
I would be there to see when summer comes
at your house with broken lips,
here comes a crowd of people in death suits,
here come regions of sad splendor,
here come plowed dead poppies,
here come gravediggers and riders,
here come planets and maps with blood,
here come divers covered with ash,
here come masked men dragging maidens
held against large knives,
here come roots, veins, hospitals,
springs, ants,
here comes the night with the bed where
a solitary hussar is dying among the spider lamps,
here comes a rose of hatred and pins,
here comes a yellowish embarkation,
here comes a windy day with a child,
here I come with Oliverio, Norah,
Vicente Aleixandre, Delia,
Maruca, Malva Marina, María Luisa and Larco,
la Rubia, Rafael Ugarte,
Cotapos, Rafael Alberti,
Carlos, Bebé, Manuel Altolaguirre,
Molinari,
Rosales, Concha Méndez,
and others I’m forgetting.
They see that you are crowned, young man of health
and butterfly, pure young man
like a black flash of lightning perpetually free,
conversing among us,
now, when no one is between the rocks,
let’s simply talk about how you and I are:
what do verses serve if not the dew?


What do verses serve if not for this night
in which a bitter dagger finds us, for this day,
for this twilight, for this broken corner
where the battered heart of man prepares to die?


Especially at night,
at night there are many stars,
all within a river
like a ribbon next to the windows
of the houses full of poor people.


Someone has been killed, perhaps
they have lost their jobs in the offices,
in the hospitals, in the elevators,
in the mines,
the stubbornly wounded beings suffer,
and there is purpose and weeping everywhere:
while the stars run in an endless river
there is profuse weeping in the windows,
the doorsteps are worn from the weeping,
the bedrooms are wet from the weeping
that comes in form of a wave to eat away the carpets.


Federico,
you see the world, the streets,
the vinegar,
the farewells at the stations
when the smoke raises its decisive wheels
toward where there is nothing but some
separations, stones, tracks.


There are so many people asking questions
everywhere.
There is the bleeding blind man, and the irate, and
the downhearted,
and the miserable, the tree of fingernails,
the bandit with envy on his back. 


Thus it is life, Federico, here you have
the things that my friendship can offer you
from a melancholic, manly man.
Already you know many things for yourself.
And you will know others slowly.