“life’s not a paragraph
And death i think is no parenthesis”
Today (September 4th) 48 years ago, E.E. Cummings died (1894-1962). Yes, E(dward) E(stlin) Cummings, a poet 2900 times over, twice autobiographical novelist, essayist, and painter is dead, mort, defunct. The physical body of E.E. Cummings is dust. Yet, his body of poetry lives and can give life to the multitudes of dead and dying 21st Century tweetists and facebookers.
It is as Cummings’ observed: “Unbeing dead isn’t being alive.” It, of course, is your excuse for not being dust – yet.
Cummings’ prayer (“Bon Dieu! may I some day do something truly great. amen”) was heard and answered. And in His answering, our unthought questions became newborn babes wrapped in a sweet truth of ageless wisdom.
It is as Cummings’ observed: “Unless you love someone, nothing else makes any sense.” It, of course, is your failure to make sense of little – yet.
Of course, it took Cummings two failures in nonsensical love before he made perfect, 30-year love sense. Cummings’ first wife, Elaine Orr 1924-1925. was a passionate, adulterous tryst that began in 1918, birthed a daughter, and ended in 1925 when Elaine ‘fell in love’ with another man. Anne Barton 1929-1932, Cummings’ second wife, equally, was neither fulfilling nor lasting. Marion Morehouse 1932-1962, Cummings’ third, albeit common-law, wife remained Cummings’ hope, joy, and answered prayer until his demise.
Grounded in the fundamentals of living by his father and building on the foundation of Love’s model and example displayed by his father and mother, Cummings living understanding of Love transcended the early, temporary, fragile, and mean relationships.
Because his father “lived his soul, love is the whole and more than all” to Cummings. Because Cummings lived and wrote his soul, love and loving can be the whole and more for us. [See “my father moved through dooms of love,” E. E. Cummings at http://www.cs.berkeley.edu/~richie/poetry/html/aupoem114.html.]
Cummings poetry speaks to us, the common man and common woman, of the singular most important aspect of living and Life this side of Eternity: Love. Cummings observed: “one’s not half two. It’s two are halves of one…” It, of course, is your choice – complete Love’s equation or remain a nonsensical fraction until you’re dust.
since feeling is first
since feeling is first
who pays any attention
to the syntax of things
will never wholly kiss you;
wholly to be a fool
while Spring is in the world
my blood approves,
and kisses are a far better fate
lady i swear by all flowers. Don’t cry
–the best gesture of my brain is less than
your eyelids’ flutter which says
we are for eachother: then
laugh, leaning back in my arms
for life’s not a paragraph
And death i think is no parenthesis
Cummings, E. E. “Since feeling is first”
E. E. Cummings: Complete Poems 1914-1962
Poet E. E. Cummings Dead at 67
E. E. Cummings’ Defunct, But You’re Not – Yet
Dreams in the Mirror: A Biography of E. E. Cummings – http://www.amazon.com/Dreams-Mirror-Biography-Cummings-Liveright/dp/087140155X
“E. E. Cummings” – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E._E._Cummings
“E. E. Cummings Biography” – http://famouspoetsandpoems.com/poets/e__e__cummings/biography
“E. E. Cumming’s Life” – http://www.english.illinois.edu/maps/poets/a_f/cummings/cummings_life.htm
“Poet E.E. Cummings Biography” – http://www.poetryfoundation.org/archive/poet.html?id=81323