I won’t preface this poem too much with explanation or emotional context or anything like this, but it seemed fitting that my first post (belated) of 2011 should be a poem as that is more or less all I posted back at the beginning of my life as a blogger (2003-2004).
somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond
any experience,your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near
your slightest look easily will unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skilfully,mysteriously)her first rose
or if your wish be to close me, i and
my life will shut very beautifully ,suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;
nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility:whose texture
compels me with the color of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing
(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens;only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands
That last line is an all-time classic; cuts right to the marrow of something I cannot articulate. And it is a love poem as I like them, both inward and outward facing. Motion. Deliberate. Love.
More importantly, it strikes me Cummings is a perfect poet for the modern abbreviated age of networks, connections, ephemeral exchanges, 140 characters of emotional impact. Poetry is short-form reflection; greater evidence of learning emotional content doesn’t exist.