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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Number 163: E.E. Cummings "Maggie and Molly and Milly and May"

Maggie and Molly and Milly and May

Maggie and Molly and Milly and May
went down to the beach (to play one day)

and maggie discovered a shell that sang
so sweetly she couldn’t remember her troubles,and

milly befriended a stranded star
whose rays five languid fingers were;

and molly was chased by a horrible thing
which raced sideways while blowing bubbles: and

may came home with a smooth round stone
as small as a world and as large as alone.

For whatever we lose(like a you or a me)
it’s always ourselves we find in the sea

-- e.e. cummings

Hap Notes: As I said before, Cummings didn't really intend to always have his name written in lower case, so I sort of mix it up in the blog for variety. Sometimes, out of respect, I use the upper case. I have to admit after reading his work everywhere else, where the lower case is used, the upper case looks a bit odd. We'll get over it.

Here's a pleasant thing to think of on a Sunday: a day at the beach. Often we run into creatures in our everyday lives that tell us something if we are willing to listen. All the girls at the beach saw things that startled or entranced them.

You may not be on the beach today but there's a spider in the corner ready to teach you something. Maybe there's a bluejay in a tree ready to show you a solution to a problem. There's a really cool rock on the ground by your driveway. Maybe your dog would like to take a walk- couldn't hurt, right?

Yesterday I saw a perfect spiderweb that had gone up between the trash can and the recycling bin. Trash day is every Tuesday and I never forget that so the web was spun over three days. It was intricate, dew-laden and gorgeous. And I felt so bad that the web would be disturbed by Monday evening.

I was already spinning a sorrowful tale as the spider was maybe telling me, the webs we make are often going to come apart. Just make the web and worry about Tuesday when Tuesday comes. (maybe- it could be saying something else. And if you say, well, it's just a stupid spider web and it means nothing, you're right. The world around you will tell you nothing. Nothing is a huge subject- I'm not brave enough to tackle that one yet. Nothing, ironically, is full of something. To paraphrase Lewis Carroll, If you can see nothing, you've got better eyes than I have.)

All you can ever really see is yourself. Which takes us back to the poem.

Here's where we've talked about Cummings before:

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