A poem for this moment

January 14, 2020 at 12:02 pm (By Amba) ()

Yes, Auden’s “September 1, 1939.” Yes, Yeats’s “The Second Coming.” Sure, even Matthew Arnold’s “Dover Beach.” But this one by e e cummings is right up there.

pity this busy monster, manunkind

pity this busy monster, manunkind,

not. Progress is a comfortable disease:
your victim (death and life safely beyond)

plays with the bigness of his littleness
--- electrons deify one razorblade
into a mountainrange; lenses extend
unwish through curving wherewhen till unwish
returns on its unself.
                          A world of made
is not a world of born --- pity poor flesh

and trees, poor stars and stones, but never this
fine specimen of hypermagical

ultraomnipotence. We doctors know

a hopeless case if --- listen: there's a hell
of a good universe next door; let's go

E. E. Cummings

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I dreamt of Rainy this morning

September 8, 2019 at 12:07 pm (By Amba) (, , )

Rainy_Holding_Hands

This poem came to mind.

Rainy wasn’t “placid and self-contained”; he was goofy, obsessive, and attached. (I suspect Whitman was thinking of a cow, a stupefied human creation.) The stallion Whitman describes later in this section of the poem, with his “eyes full of sparkling wickedness,” certainly isn’t “placid.”

But the scathing description of human behavior, that I can relate both to myself (at least the first two lines) and to the world. I was so glad to see Rainy.

Animals

~ Walt Whitman

from “Song of Myself,” 32

 

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