Jul 14, 2010

Cummings, Dickinson, Purple Finches

I think I read it right: the eyes of small birds do not rotate in the skull the way ours do; that's why they're always tilting, jerking, twitching their entire heads to catch an image.

I think this posing guy, with no dark patch on his crown, has a rich enough raspberry color to be labeled purple finch and not "just another" house finch. I have to catch myself on the verge of thinking "just another" cardinal, "just another" gold finch. They bring pleasure every day, but are not as exotic as, say, a Northern Parula Warbler at Magee Marsh.

The purple finch also made me think of e.e. cummings. Again. If the children in the poem were yours, would you be OK watching them follow the balloon man out of sight?

[in Just-] by E. E. Cummings : The Poetry Foundation [poem] : Find Poems and Poets. Discover Poetry.

But in case that's too easy--or God forbid, too happy--here's Emily again, thinking of a lover. Did we know she thought of lovers? How could we not have suspected?

Wild nights - Wild nights! (269) by Emily Dickinson : The Poetry Foundation [poem] : Find Poems and Poets. Discover Poetry.



Anonymous said...

You can't get too happy.

"who knows if the moon's
a balloon,coming out of a keen city
in the sky--filled with pretty people?
(and if you and i should

get into it,if they
should take me and take you into their balloon,
why then
we'd go up higher with all the pretty people

than houses and steeples and clouds:
go sailing
away and away sailing into a keen
city which nobody's ever visited,where

Spring)and everyone's
in love and flowers pick themselves"

Banjo52 said...

AH, nice! I thought I'd never seen this one until I saw the flowers picking themselves, which sounds familiar. I wonder if cummings first SAW that in his mind or THOUGHT of it as an abstraction, an intriguing "what if?"

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't that be fascinating to know? And which image or thought did he begin with, how did it come to him, how did he build the story around it?

I'll be he couldn't tell us.

Brenda's Arizona said...

One poem downright creepy, the other so sensual. I think our poets got mixed up - usually it is cummings who writes the erotic/sensual stuff! The balloon man? I think I'd want to keep my kids away from him. He reminds of a character you would see in the old TV series "The Prisoner".

Thanks for lovely (other)view of ED.

Banjo52 said...

AH, I'll bet you're right. And if he told us, would we believe him?

"how did he build the story around it?" For the sake of honesty, I'd bet he could talk about this. Whether he WOULD is another question.

Banjo52 said...

Brenda, I asked that question here because at some point I realized I was being dishonest with students, nudging them (AND their parents, all of us) toward adventure, the pastoral, the pagan, even the devil's cloven hoof. Maybe one of them said, "Would you be pushing so hard in that direction if it were your own kids?"

I love students--well, most of them. Their tendency toward intolerance of bullshit is so healthy, something everyone needs, whether or not they know they need it. Despite plenty of curses, a career in teaching is a blessing.

Banjo52 said...

Brenda, but that other, lovely, yes, view of ED also makes my chest a little cold.

Why in the world wasn't I more interested in her when I was a student? Maybe because I was told I was supposed to be interested in her? Or all 20-something men are morons?

Ssshhhhhhh. You didn't hear that here.

Lovers' Lane