If you like my poems let them
walk in the evening,a little behind you
then people will say
Along this road i saw a princess pass
on her way to meet her lover
(it was toward nightfall)with tall and ignorant servants so wrote Edward Estlin Cummings (1894-1962), possibly the most radical and innovative contemporary poet. Also a playwright, prose writer, and painter, E. Cummings is known best for his highly experimental and thought-provoking poetic lyricism. Throughout his nine books (over 900 poems), he successfully pushed typography, punctuation, grammar, syntax, diction, imagery, and lyricism to their limits.
But while Cummings seems to break even the limited literary rules of poetry, he usually adheres to the traditional rhymes and off-rhymes characteristic to earlier styles, giving his work the unique melange of tradition and experimentation that has gained him high acclaim.
’somewhere i have never Traveled, gladly beyond
any experience, your eyes have their silence:’
rather, silvery mist painted landscapes retain
more warmth, and i realize just how much
i miss your company.
i shudder, quietness surrounding me like an old
wool blanket, thick but threadbare, thoroughly
eliminating all feeling.
hopelessly lost, i listen for some hidden meaning,
a reason why you became suddenly silent,
searching to return home.
’somewhere i have never traveled, gladly beyond
any experience, your eyes have their silence:
a soft wind whistles by, hoping for my attention.