Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Day 39: Existence

One of my all-time favourite poets is ee cummings. His poetry really gets at what it means to live, what it means to be alive. There is an energy and vibrancy to his poetry that makes his words leap off the page and smack you in the face (heart, head).

In this poem, 'life is more true than reason will deceive' he challenges the role of reason and logic (and science) in life, and instead praises passion and feeling. Reason deceives us, feeling enlightens us. With reason, you merely 'exist' and feeling, you 'live.' 

The first thing that strikes you about ee cummings' work is his jumbled-up syntax and strange use of vocabulary. This is all in the name of having us react to a poem, to 'feel' first and then come to understand it. Because feeling is more important in his poetry than rationalising, just as in life.

life is more true than reason will deceive - ee cummings

life is more true than reason will deceive
(more secret or than madness did reveal)
deeper is life than lose:higher than have
–but beauty is more each than living’s all

multiplied with infinity sans if
the mightiest meditations of mankind
canceled are by one merely opening leaf
(beyond whose nearness there is no beyond)

or does some littler bird than eyes can learn
look up to silence and completely sing?
futures are obsolete:pasts are unborn
(here less than nothing’s more than everything)

death,as men call him, ends what they call men
-but beauty is more now than dying’s when 

*(read more on ee cummings here:

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