Poetry Friday: somewhere i have never traveled

poetry friday

Friday is my favorite day of the week – primarily because of Poetry Friday and the warm, affirming, exceedingly-bright and talented community of like-minded individuals who religiously share their favorite poems with everyone else. I discover new poems that whisper secrets to me, wondrous gems that I would not otherwise have discovered if not for this group. This week’s host is Heidi Mordhorst from My Juicy Little Universe – do check out the links found in her lovely post.

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We have just recently launched our new bimonthly theme for March/April called Oddballs and Misfits, the Surreal and the Peculiar: A Celebration of Strangenesses. As such, I thought of sharing one of my favorite odd/peculiar poets with you, so brilliant he redefined poetic forms and carved his own typographic structure that is so startlingly different and intuitively-authentic and just plain luminous {filled with radiance} – e.e. cummings.

Click on the image to be taken to the websource.

Click on the image to be taken to the websource.

This poem also speaks to me like no other, maybe because I am celebrating my birthday tomorrow and I wonder about the ‘somewhere i have never traveled’ – the lives I have not lived, the parallel existence I could have had, despite the fact that there is no place I would rather be at this point in my life. Yet, as Selznick noted in Wonderstruck, “All of us are in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”

somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond

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 will easily 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 

And since it’s a Joni Mitchell kind of morning, let me share her ‘The Last Time I Saw Richard’ with its haunting lyrics laced with unarticulated longing.

The last time I saw Richard was Detroit in ’68
And he told me all romantics meet the same fate someday 
Cynical and drunk and boring someone in some dark café
You laugh he said you think you’re immune 
Go look at your eyes they’re full of moon
You like roses and kisses and pretty men to tell you 
All those pretty lies pretty lies
When you gonna realize they’re only pretty lies
Only pretty lies just pretty lies

He put a quarter in the Wurlitzer and he pushed
Three buttons and the thing began to whirr 
And a bar maid came by in fishnet stockings and a bow tie
And she said “Drink up now it’s getting’ on time to close” 
“Richard, you haven’t really changed” I said 
It’s just that now you’re romanticizing some pain that’s in your head 
You got tombs in your eyes but the songs you punched are dreaming
Listen, they sing of love so sweet, love so sweet
When you gonna get yourself back on your feet? 
Oh and love can be so sweet Love so sweet

Richard got married to a figure skater
And he bought her a dishwasher and a coffee percolator 
And he drinks at home now most nights with the TV on 
And all the house lights left up bright
I’m gonna blow this damn candle out
I don’t want nobody comin’ over to my table
I got nothing to talk to anybody about 
All good dreamers pass this way some day 
Hidin’ behind bottles in dark cafes dark cafes 
Only a dark cocoon before I get my gorgeous wings and fly away 
Only a phase these dark café days

15 Comments on Poetry Friday: somewhere i have never traveled

  1. Catherine Johnson // March 8, 2013 at 9:09 am // Reply

    Have a great birthday, Mira! Love the poem and the song.

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  2. Well, happy birthday my friend…I hope you do something special as befits the occasion and the lady. These are three of the loveliest lines ever written about love, I think:
    (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)
    …and then to hear Joni! Thank you!

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    • Dear Tara, thank you for the beautiful greeting. Yes, I can not agree more. Those are beautiful, tender lines indeed. Filled with warmth.
      Joni Mitchell haunts me. She is a marvel. 🙂

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  3. your slightest look will easily 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
    * happy sigh*

    Happy Birthday, Myra! Wishing you a warm and wonderful year!

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  4. HAPPY, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Myra…. This poetry filled me right up and then some this morning. Thank you!

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  5. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, oh Beautiful Myra! I hope it’s as lovely as you are.

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful poem (And Joni, too)-

    “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” – exquisite.

    Can’t wait to see what you all have in store in March-April (mwah ha ha ha…!)

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  6. Love the metaphor Cummings uses – the hands/petals/love connection – it’s so beautifully written! And happy early birthday!

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  7. Double swoon-worthy offerings today, Myra — my favorite poet + one of my favorite singer/songwriters of all time! Sigh. Romance and romantics and love and Spring. Love the hope and optimism in Joni’s song, and of course Cummings’ words are just so luminous and lyrical and uplifting.

    Hope you have the most beautiful and delicious birthday ever tomorrow. Eat a big piece of cake for me. I will be thinking of you! ♥

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  8. Thank you for sharing e.e. with us today – much to ponder at any point in our life.
    Happy birthday! Enjoy YOUR day, Myra! =)

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  9. Happy Birthday!

    So fun to read the lyrics to that song and hear Joni Mitchell’s voice in my head (I know it that well…)

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  10. Myra, happy birthday to you–there are at least four of us posting today that have birthdays right around now (I’m on Monday).

    “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”

    Nice to think that even if we never go anywhere much, live any other life but our own, we have an intensely fragile internal texture that compels us and others with the color of its countries. Lovely post–thank you!

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  11. Oh so sweet and yes it hurts! I adore that poem and that song… thanks!

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  12. Beautiful poems, Myra. And you’re right…the Joni Mitchell one is quite haunting…especially hearing it with the music. Happy belated birthday. Hope you had a great one!

    Like

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