Saturday, April 19, 2014

Avant-Edge: e.e. cummings

Happy Easter Toads and other miscellaneous garden dwellers. This is my favourite time of year - spring is just around the corner. We have some pretty cold winters in this neck of the woods and the sunshine and green grass is a sight for sore eyes. This is my second challenge in the Garden and it is the third week of poetry month so today I am going to go easy.

For those of you on track for a poem a day my hat's off to you.

There are two things I love about poetry. First, is the inspired and authentic expression that only poetry provides as displayed by the Romantic Poets. Second, is the ability use and abuse language in new and exciting ways - the possibilities and combinations are endless. This really triggers the inner geek in me.

No one use and abused my beloved language more successfully than e.e. cummings. Also, his name is synonymous with Avant-garde Poetry which is my theme. One of my favourite poems is "anyone lived in a pretty how town"

"anyone lived in a pretty how town
(with up so floating many bells down)
spring summer autumn winter
he sang his didn't he danced his did

Women and men(both little and small)
cared for anyone not at all
they sowed their isn't they reaped their same
sun moon stars rain

children guessed (but only a few
and down they forgot as up they grew
autumn winter spring summer)
that no one loved him more by more"

Another classic example is "loneliness a leaf falls" where the arrangement of the letters mimics the action of a falling leaf.


I am going to throw in one more example of how simple, elegant and beautiful our language can be. It is the shortest story ever written by Ernest Hemmingway:

"For Sale: Baby Shoes, Never Worn"

So the challenge is to write a poem of any length or style that uses, or misuses, language in a new and creative way. I'm excited to see what this talented crew comes up with.


Unknown said...

Hey ant techy toads out there? I couldn't get linky to work - I sent an e-mail to Kerry but I'm not sure how her time zone works. If any one can help I be super easter grateful.

Kay L. Davies said...

I've never been able to get the linky to work, either, so I'm no help, although I am awake.
I love the examples you've chosen. My favourite lines are
"children guessed (but only a few
and down they forgot as up they grew"
So very true, about forgetting when they're no longer children.
But the Hemingway line makes me want to cry.

avalon said...

I love this idea of [ab]use and [mis]use. I'll enjoy working on this and getting away from the sonnets for a day.
Thanks for the prompt, Sam.

Susie Clevenger said...

I'm awake, but it seems Sam isn't. Love the challenge. Mine is written..not e.e. cummings quality, but definitely off enough to work perhaps.

Anonymous said...

Oh, this got all the creative juices flowing at once... So excited! Now I just need the Mr Linky, but in the meantime:

Hannah said...

Hey there Sam and everyone...I got a Linky on there for ya. :) Happy writing everyone...great challenge, Sam.

Kerry O'Connor said...

This is a wonderful challenge, Sam. I'm still extending the poem I wrote for your first avant garde challenge, so many thanks for that!

Margaret said...

…this was SO difficult for me - and e.e. cummings is quite a trip - can't decide what I think of him. Can't say I fully met the challenge with my poem, but I'm off for the weekend and gave it all the time I had. Thanks for the challenge!

Anonymous said...

Hey Sam, I must confess that I was thinking about this type of language usage already, and so your challenge was marvelously serendipitous. I think mine is a bit grim, and maybe will try to do a second that is more cheerful tomorrow. (Won't link two necessarily.) But it is a super fun challenge and very good for those getting worn down by the poem a day thing. Thanks much. k.

Maude Lynn said...

I found this difficult, too!

Charleen said...

This was challenging, fun, and the result makes me nervous.

Lolamouse said...

I love ee cummings! The Loneliness poem was one of the first poems I ever studied. I can't believe I've never read the other one, but it's fantastic! Thanks.

Sumana Roy said...

Thanks Sam for the prompt...

Unknown said...

Thanks for the comments the responses are amazing. I am herding children today but I will get to all of you eventually.

Ella said...

Thank you (S)a{m

humbird said...

Love e.e. cummings. Thanks, Sam

Margaret said...

Thought I had linked earlier this morning

Anonymous said...

wellllll... is feeling a bit dry on day 19. thanks for the prompt, Sam. apologies in advance that my post is a bit silly ~