Tuesday, April 3, 2012


I have been reading a wonderful collection of lectures made by e.e. cummings at Harvard. I have only read a small sampling of cummings’ poetry, but I ran across this small Atheneum publication of what cummings called “six nonlectures” (reprinted by permission from Harvard University Press), delivered as the Charles Eliot Norton lectures at Harvard in 1953.

The lectures talk about cummings’ life and development as an artist. He makes very interesting observations about the role of the poet and trends that he was seeing in the society of his times.

I have been enjoying this small pocket book, but today I am writing about the little surprise I found folded within the later pages of the book. On mint green writing paper, someone had written a poem, using a fountain pen with blue ink. There is no title at the top and neither has the poem’s author identified her or himself.

Here is the poem, in its entirety:

The weather has thrown off its shawl
of wind, of cold, and of rain,
and it’s clothed in garments
of clear and radiant sun.

There isn’t a beast or bird
which in its way doesn’t sing or shout
the weather has thrown off its shawl
of wind, of cold and of rain.

River, fountain and stream
carry prettily
pieces of gold coin,
each one dresses itself anew;
The weather has thrown off its shawl
of wind, of cold and of rain.

What a delight, to have found this little book, in the early days of Spring, only to discover a little poem tucked within its folds!

I cannot help but make the observation that technology does not account for such delights as these.

If you are the author of this poem, let me know who you are—I would love to have a conversation with you about Spring and poetry, fountain pens and books!

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