“Now the eyes of my eyes are opened”

In praise of trees and life generally.

The poetry of E. E. Cummings was given a leg up when Woody Allen had one of his characters quote “somewhere i have never traveled, gladly beyond” in his 1986 film Hannah and Her Sisters.

One of the most innovative poets of his time, Cummings (1894-1962) experimented with poetic forms and language to create visually and rhythmically quirky poems, with startling imagery and key words eccentrically placed on the page.

Interestingly, while much of his poetry is in free verse (with no concern for rhyme or meter), many have a recognizable sonnet structure of 14 lines, with an intricate rhyme scheme. Here is one such:

“i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun’s birthday; this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings: and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any–lifted from the no
of all nothing–human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)”

The painting is Autumn Forest, one of the very last by the Austrian landscape artist Karl Vikas (1875-1934).



Published by

Philip Lee

Writer and musician who tries to join up the dots.

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