Poem Spark Sept. 18-25 – E. E. Cummings

Salutations fellow poets!

Recently, a member of the Poets.org forum suggested I create a poem spark based on one of E. E. Cummings’ paintings. Before reading that suggestion, I didn’t realize that Cummings was also a prolific painter. You can look at some of his work here: The Paintings of E. E. Cummings.

This made me think, “What else don’t I know about Cummings? Or other poets?” I did some more investigation, and uncovered this interesting tidbit: Cummings never wanted his name to appear in lowercase. You can find the article about that interesting fact here: Not “e. e. cummings”

There is even more information about Cummings’ poetic work available at Poets.org here: E. E. Cummings

Fascinating stuff. There must be more that I don’t know about so many poets; information that is readily available on the web if one looks for it. So, I will be using the poem spark to do a “poet focus” every now and again. There is always more to learn about poetry, and poets, and the history of this art.

However, to get back to Cummings, I’m sure everyone knows his work in poetry uses huge leaps of imagination with punctuation, form, words, etc. Sometimes, the exhuberant nature of his poetry almost overwhelms the sense of it, but not always. Underneath his marvelous fascination with the visual and the innovative lies the seed of a great voice.

Here are some of my favorite Cummings’ poems, each with a singular message that threads the pieces of the poems’ language into a coherent whole:

next to of course god america i

somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond

pity this busy monster,manunkind,

And here is one of E. E. Cummings’ paintings I particularly like:

lone figure and tree in stormy sunset

This week, write a poem using E. E. Cummings style (innovative punctuation, etc.) OR write a poem inspired by the painting I linked to above, “lone figure and tree in stormy sunset.” Most of all, be creative and have fun!

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