Is 5

ee cummings

Ok, so here is a wonderful forward by e. e. cummings, followed by a poem from IS5


On the assumption that my technique is either complicated or original or both, the publishers have politely requested me to write an introduction to this book.

At least my theory of technique, if I have one, is very far from original; nor is it complicated. I can express it in fifteen words, by quoting The Eternal Question And Immortal Answer of burlesk, viz. “Would you hit a woman with a child?—No, I’d hit her with a brick.” Like the burlesk comedian, I am abnormally fond of that precision which creates movement.

If a poet is anybody, he is somebody to whom things made matter very little—somebody who is obsessed by Making. Like all obsessions, the Mak­ing obsession has disadvantages; for instance, my only interest in making money would be to make it. Fortunately, however, I should prefer to make almost anything else, including locomotives and roses. It is with roses and locomotives (not to mention acrobats Spring electricity Coney Island the 4th of July the eyes of mice and Niagara Falls) that my “poems” are competing.

They are also competing with each other, with elephants, and with El Greco.

Ineluctable preoccupation with The Verb gives a poet one priceless advantage: whereas nonmakers must content themselves with the merely undeniable fact that two times two is four, he rejoices in a purely irresist­ible truth (to be found, in abbreviated costume, upon the title page of the present volume).

e.e. cummmings

Is 5

Section xiii


It really must

be Nice, never to


have no imagination) or never

never to wonder about guys you used to (and them

slim but queens with dam next to nothing


on) tangoing

(while a feller tries

to hold down the fifty bucks per

job with one foot and rock a


cradle with the other) it Must be

nice never to have no doubts about why you

put the ring

on (and watching her

face grow old and tired to which


you’re married and hands get red washing

things and dishes)and to never, never really wonder i

mean about the smell

of babies and how you


know the dam rent’s going to and everything and never, never

Never to stand at no window

because i can’t sleep (smoking sawdust


cigarettes in the

middle of the night

About anthonyhowelljournal

Poet, essayist, dancer, performance artist....
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