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Poetry Corner | somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond

Images, like smells, are a powerful tie to memory: the sight of certain flowers may remind you of your first love, a rain-slicked highway smacks you full in the face with the memory of long hours spent driving to your grandmother’s house for summer vacation. Poetry is consumed by imagery, and master poets have a way of weaving words into powerful pictures that close your throat and catch your breath, leaving you breathless even years after you first read the poem, remembering, lingering within that world.

 

Get Drunk On Poetry Baudelaire

 

E.E. Cummings is one of those rare poets whose poems are finely spun as a spider web, glittering in a sunrise dew, and just as captivating. Most of his poems did not have titles, leaving the reader to plunge in head-first with no pre-conceived idea of what the piece is about. I like that. Following is one of my all-time favorite poems: the last line especially has stuck with me since I first read it, decades ago, and is a line that I find myself muttering under my breath in times of stress or anxiety.
As always, let us know what you think about the poem – or if you have suggestions for a poem or poet to feature here – by posting in the comments. Hope you enjoy!

somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond

by E. E. Cummings

somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond
any experience,your eyes have their silence:

in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near

your slightest look easily will unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skilfully,mysteriously)her first rose

or if your wish be to close me, i and
my life will shut very beautifully ,suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;

nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility:whose texture
compels me with the color of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing

(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens;only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands

Tomi Wiley James Master Poets Quote
Creative Commons License Woods In Fall by Muhammad Ali is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

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About Tomi Wiley (38 Articles)
Tomi L. Wiley is the Poetry and Short Fiction Editor for Sweatpants & Coffee.com. She has written and edited for media including Southern Living and Oxford American magazines, has been published in the literary anthologies Milk & Ink: a Mosaic of Motherhood, Telling Tales, Maypop and the Southeast Review, has coordinated panels for the Southern Festival of Books, spoken on the creative writing process at Middle Tennessee State University and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and is a past president of the Tennessee Writers Alliance. She lives in Knoxville, where she is writing her first novel with the help of lots of wine, goat cheese and the Barefoot Contessa.

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