Friday, December 01, 2006

It Snowed Today

This morning I was sent a beautiful poem, from a friend.
She often sends me wonderful things like this, on the computer, and also in the actual mail. So many times these little mailings have coincided with events that were taking place at the time, [and impossible to be known to her] that I’ve been forced to conclude that she is clairvoyant.
Or an alien, perhaps.
Whatever the source of her powers, she is downright Nostradamian!
Today’s coincidence involves the fact that the first real snowfall has hit my fair town. It’s still coming down, now more as rain, but earlier, it was snow. The first of the year.
So, this morning, at 7 a.m., Ms. Nostradamus sends me this e.e. cummings poem.
And here it is:

beautiful

is the

unmea

ning

of (sil

ently) fal

ling (e

ver
yw
here) s

now

e. e. cummings

I just love the way e.e. cummings does what he does, with words and letters. Once, quite a while ago now, I wrote a blog, outlining his methodology. To see it, click HERE.
But for now, let me simply say that the bracketed letters are independent of the rest. Read them separately.
If we do that, what we end up with in this brief little hummingbird of a poem is the following:

beautiful is the unmeaning of falling snow (silently) (everywhere)

Isn’t that gorgeous?
But to summarize e.e. cummings like this and say, “Hmmm, neat!” is a travesty. There are a hundred other things being done, visually, spatially, aurally, with these few words.
The way it is structured is itself “falling”, like snow. We must read it from top to bottom, from a higher point, to a lower one.
I love how the bracketed words, along with the inner word, capture the main thrust of the entire piece → (silently) falling (everywhere).
He has even made the parenthetical words form a cohesive thought:
beautiful ← → now.
And “now” is not even a word (per se) in the poem. It is part of the word “snow” broken in just the right place, and set apart.

Today it snowed.
This is all I know.
She is prophetic, this woman!
What if I awake one morning and see that she has sent me Thomas Philipot’s 1646 poem entitled, “On Myself Being Sick of a Fever”?
What then?
Should I just accept my fate, crawl back into bed and wait till it passes?

**********

1 comment:

May said...

Lovely topic, lovely post.
[And I was able to comment at the second trial]