A movie log formerly known as Bookishness / By Charles Matthews

"Dazzled by so many and such marvelous inventions, the people of Macondo ... became indignant over the living images that the prosperous merchant Bruno Crespi projected in the theater with the lion-head ticket windows, for a character who had died and was buried in one film and for whose misfortune tears had been shed would reappear alive and transformed into an Arab in the next one. The audience, who had paid two cents apiece to share the difficulties of the actors, would not tolerate that outlandish fraud and they broke up the seats. The mayor, at the urging of Bruno Crespi, explained in a proclamation that the cinema was a machine of illusions that did not merit the emotional outbursts of the audience. With that discouraging explanation many ... decided not to return to the movies, considering that they already had too many troubles of their own to weep over the acted-out misfortunes of imaginary beings."
--Gabriel García Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Poem of the Day: E.E. Cummings

my father moved through dooms of love 
through sames of am through haves of give, 
singing each morning out of each night 
my father moved through depths of height

this motionless forgetful where 
turned at his glance to shining here; 
that if (so timid air is firm) 
under his eyes would stir and squirm

newly as from unburied which 
floats the first who,his april touch 
dove sleeping selves to swarm their fates 
woke dreamers to their ghostly roots 

and should some why completely weep 
my father's fingers brought her sleep: 
vainly no smallest voice might cry  
for he could feel the mountains grow.

Lifting the valleys of the sea 
my father moved through griefs of joy; 
praising a forehead called the moon 
singing desire into begin 

joy was his song and joy so pure 
a heart of star by him could steer 
and pure so now and now so yes 
the wrists of twilight would rejoice 

keen as midsummer's keen beyond 
conceiving mind of sun will stand, 
so strictly (over utmost him 
so hugely ) stood my father's dream 

his flesh was flesh his blood was blood: 
no hungry man but wished him food;
no cripple wouldn't creep one mile 
uphill to only see him smile.

Scorning the pomp of must and shall
my father moved through dooms of feel; 
his anger was as right as rain 
his pity was as green as grain 

septembering arms of year extend 
less humbly wealth to foe and friend 
than he to foolish and to wise 
offered immeasurable is 

proudly and(by octobering flame
beckoned) as earth will downward climb, 
so naked for immortal work 
his shoulders marched against the dark 

his sorrow was as true as bread: 
no liar looked him in the head; 
if every friend became his foe 
he'd laugh and build a world with snow.

My father moved through theys of we,
singing each new leaf out of each tree 
(and every child was sure that sprin 
danced when she heard my father sing) 

then let men kill which cannot share, 
let blood and flesh be mud and mire, 
scheming imagine,passion willed,
freedom a drug that's bought and sold 

giving to steal and cruel kind, 
a heart to fear,to doubt a mind,
to differ a disease of same,
conform the pinnacle of am 

though dull were all we taste as bright,
bitter all utterly things sweet, 
maggoty minus and dumb death 
all we inherit,all bequeath

and nothing quite so least as truth 
--i say though hate were why men breathe--
because my father lived his soul
love is the whole and more than all
--E.E. Cummings 

I'm not, I fear, a Cummings fan. But many are, so this is for them. And for me it's one of the few Cummings poems that truly justify his typographic trickery and syntactical twists. They depict the struggle to articulate a deep and genuine feeling. (And no, he didn't insist on spelling his name with lowercase letters.)

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