A Poem for Spring

My students know that I dislike what I call "vomit poetry" -- meaning, whatever comes out of your mouth, in whatever order, with no particular attention to poetic details like meter, rhyme or literary devices.  Me, I'm a structuralist.  Poetry should be WORK.

But oh, how I love e.e. cummings.  I discovered him in high school, and his was the first poem I ever consciously committed to memory.  (I've memorized many others by accident.  Score one more for Suzuki!)  Under his influence, I stopped using capital letters for several years of my life, and I still sign my name that way. When you read his poetry, you understand why so many people try [fruitlessly] to emulate his seemingly devil-may-care attitude about punctuation and grammar -- though of course, as an English teacher, I can tell you that he had a reason for every misplaced parenthesis and portmanteau word.  Someday I hope to visit his resting place in Boston and tell him how much his work continues to move me.

So, courtesy of the master himself, welcome to Spring:

Now i lay(with everywhere around)
me(the great dim deep sound
of rain;and of always and of nowhere)and
what a gently welcoming darkestness--


now i lay me down(in a most steep
more than music)feeling that sunlight is
(life and day are)only loaned:whereas
night is given(night and death and the rain


are given;and given is how beautifully snow)

now i lay me down to dream of(nothing
i or any somebody or you
can begin to begin to imagine)


something which nobody may keep.
now i lay me down to dream of Spring