Thursday, April 15, 2010

e.e. cummings

I got an ee cummings book out of the library last week. At first, I thought it was all nonsense, just like a lot of "modern art" that is neither beautiful nor profound. But I was wrong. Some of his work I still don't get. But I'll ascribe that to my lack of diligence in sorting through all the seemingly random parentheses, and not to the poet's lack of sense. Here's a favorite:

I shall imagine life
is not worth dying,if
(and when)roses complain
their beauties are in vain

but though mankind persuades
itself that every weed's
a rose,roses(you feel
certain)will only smile

I love this. Its like even though everyone in the world may "call evil good" and praise what is worthless, that doesn't change the fact that good is good, evil is evil, and a weed will never be a rose.

and this one:

when any mortal (even the most odd)

can justify the ways of man to God
i'll think it strange that normal mortals can

not justify the ways of God to man

That last one reminded me of John Piper saying, "What I feel about God is about as relevant as a broken shutter flapping in the wind." Or a funnier quote, "He is so far above us... we're like ropes on the Good Year blimp." (
Billy Murray about Doctor Marvin in What about Bob?)

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