On Poetry and Culture Shock

e. e. cummings on love and death

The trip to Washington is giving me plenty of opportunities to rant on this insane country, so let's compensate that with some beautiful American poetry. What I like the best from e. e. cummings is the originality of his love poems. Many of the others are good too, and the extremely short ones are very original, but to me nothing beats the love declarations, such as this one. Even so, its defence of the value of love above, beyond, after, and in spite of death is better understood in the context of his sadder poems on mortality.

Thy fingers make early flowers of
all things.
thy hair mostly the hours love:
a smoothness which
(though love be a day)
do not fear,we will go amaying.

thy whitest feet crisply are straying.
thy moist eyes are at kisses playing,
whose strangeness much
(though love be a day)
for which girl art thou flowers bringing?

To be thy lips is a sweet thing
and small.
Death,Thee i call rich beyond wishing
if this thou catch,
else missing.
(though love be a day
and life be nothing,it shall not stop kissing).

Los dedos de vos hacen flores tempranas de
todas las cosas.
El cabello de vos lo aman especialmente las horas:
una suavidad que
(aun si el amor es un día)
no tengas miedo,iremos a la feria.

los blanquísimos pies de vos vagabundean frescamente.
vuestros húmedos ojos juegan a los besos,
cuya rareza mucho
(aun si el amor es un día)
¿para qué chica traéis flores?

Ser los labios de vos es algo dulce
y pequeño.
Muerte,a Vos os llamo rica más allá de todo lo deseable
si atrapas esto,
lo demás perdiendo.
(aun si el amor es un día
y la vida nada,no dejará de besar).

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