Nov 27, 2013

An e.e. cummings Thanksgiving for Pantheists, Pagans, Generic Mystics, Animists, Deists, Theists, Agnostics, Atheists, and Doubting Methodists



A friend's request to see my photos of the new-to-me golden-crowned kinglet made me think of e.e. cummings’ Poem 53 and hear it as a thanks-giving as well as its more obvious prayer of beseeching and urging oneself. The world is rich and not entirely logical; let me perceive and love it for those reasons, contradictory as they may seem. Poem 53 might be too sentimental for some, but how does one dispute its argument? 

(In my cummings book, Line 7 begins “and even,” not “for even”—I suspect Garrison Keillor’s secretary was typing on Sunday):    


Also consider Poem 53 as a reply to Janet Loxley Lewis’ “Austerity” in my last post. Would she and e.e. cummings have hated each other? Are they actually disagreeing in these two poems?  How bitterly? Which side of the argument are you partial to—cummings’ “little birds” or Loxley Lewis’ “monotony” of stars?

And now that I've caused myself to think in pairs, then, how can I re-post the golden-crowned kinglet without his cousin (I assume), the ruby-crowned kinglet? Do you have a favorite? Do you love one child more than the other? 




You see, this is how football begins: you feel a kinship with a team's location or uniform and soon enough you're a tribalist, betting on Roman gladiators who rumble in the dirt, making themselves metaphors for war. And yet, I'm a fan, sort of. 

It must be Sunday: I'm not making sense; surely I'm wrong. And therefore blessed.

Happy eating-drinking-observing-thinking! 



There wasn’t a lot of commentary when I posted Poem 53 in May of 2010. Maybe it will be different this time.




12 comments:

-K- said...

"The world is rich and not entirely logical; let me perceive and love it for those reasons, contradictory as they may seem."

This will be my mantra for the day, and hopefully, into the future.

Hannah Stephenson said...

I saw a sweet holiday card today that said "Merry Everything." Hope your Thanksgiving is wonderful.

These birds are so beautiful and sweet.

Love that poem--thank you for sharing! A wonderful benediction.

Jean Spitzer said...

Happy thanksgiving. The bird photos are terrific.

I like his attitude.

Banjo52 said...

K and Hannah, thank you so much. Blog-world can be fairly blah, but there are also fine gifts out there and you're two of them.

altadenahiker said...

Oh, we could all snitch a favorite line here. Mine:
there's never been quite such a fool who could fail
pulling all the sky over him with one smile

I'm not such a fool, after all.

Well done, John.

RuneE said...

I like that about "for whenever men are right they are not young". Maybe it is because I'm old (well, at least elderly). But I can still hear the little birds ...

Banjo52 said...

AH and Rune, definitely. That is, me too. Thanks. Practically every specific in this poem is a favorite of mine, but, as I guess my title suggests, I might emphasize being wrong on Sunday--for me, that's a nice antidote to today's militant, dumbed-down religiosity. But I'm sure cummings is, and I am, preaching to the choir.

Banjo52 said...

Jean, there is an attitude in that first kinglet, isn't there. Calm and confident, but not arrogant? Thoughtful?

-K- said...

Thank you, Banjo, for your incredibly observant response to yesterday's photo. Very much appreciated.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

On the first two photos of the birds - you've accomplished an artistic technique I learned from a Billboard artist, when he was replicating one of my designs. If you notice, despite having used a filter on the photos, once they've been shrunk down, the filtered effects are hardly noticeable. Billboard artist use the same technique, but for completely different ends. They soften up all the edges (blur) because when you enlarge an image to gargantuan dimensions, your eyes interpretation will be to harden the edges. If you don't soften them, on the painting end of it, they will read as 'cut outs' loosing the sense of realism through dimension/volume.

and I love the birdie pictures

I kind of like the last lines in the stanzas - something about rigidity "then you are old"

btw: why do people hate Garrison Keillor? treat him like a joke. I read one of his books once and remember enjoying it. He spoke to something that came out totally sexist, but also kind of true. Advised women that if they sensed discord in anothers marriage, to zone in and grab him, because single men had a very short shelf life. This appears to be the case. My mother runs a grief group for people who have lost their spouses. The women stay on for years unattached. The men last less then 6 months before they're remarried. Every darn one of them. True story.

Stickup Artist said...

For me, it's, "may my mind stroll about hungry
and fearless and thirsty and supple." And may the rest of me follow, for a long, long time to come. This poem is a prayer.

Ken Mac said...

Oohh I always loved Writer's Almanac, but never know when it will show up on NPR. Must be a podcast?
Beautiful bird shots.

Lovers' Lane