Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Wednesday Poetry: "The Cambridge Ladies Who Live in Furnished Souls," by e.e. cummings

Been a while since a Wednesday poetry entry. Though it's the cruelest month, I won't give you all T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land. I will, though, give you a poem from e.e. cummings, who often gets lumped into American modernism. "The Cambridge Ladies Who Live in Furnished Souls" does not have the formal play that often appears in cummings's poems, but it does tell us something about those who compartmentalize and refuse to move outside of their philosophical/ideological comfort zones. These sorts of people, who live in their own mental boxes, fail to understand the hugeness of the world beyond. So--here's some e.e. cummings.
"The Cambridge Ladies Who Live in Furnished Souls"
the Cambridge ladies who live in furnished souls
are unbeautiful and have comfortable minds
(also, with the church's protestant blessings
daughters,unscented shapeless spirited)
they believe in Christ and Longfellow, both dead,
are invariably interested in so many things--
at the present writing one still finds
delighted fingers knitting for the is it Poles?
perhaps. While permanent faces coyly bandy
scandal of Mrs. N and Professor D
.... the Cambridge ladies do not care, above
Cambridge if sometimes in its box of
sky lavender and cornerless, the
moon rattles like a fragment of angry candy


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