Thursday, April 9, 2009

National Poetry Month: Prestwick House Recommends...

"somewhere i have never travelled"

somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond
any experience, your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near

your slightest look easily will unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skilfully, mysteriously) her first rose

or if your wish be to close me, i and
my life will shut very beautifully, suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;

nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility: whose texture
compels me with the color of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing

(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens; only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands

The ee cummings poem above is very widely read and it appeared in a popular 80’s movie. In spite of all that, it is one of my favorite poems ever. On the surface it is a pretty sappy love poem. In fact, even under the surface it is a pretty sappy love poem…and yet, the word play speaks to the human condition.

your slightest look easily will unclose me

Unclosed is similar, but not the same thing as being opened. Like all great poems, there is a lot of art and humanity in the organization of this collection of familiar words.

-- Jason Scott, CEO

1 comment:

Annie Rizzuto Urbanik said...

I just came across "maggie and milly and molly and may" last night and now I remember why I love e.e. cummings so much.