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i'm just a literary tease, my reputation's on its knees.

The Joy of Sonnets

March 04, 2005

I enjoyed reading about poet e.e. cummings in Anthony Robinson's "The Sonnet in the Twentieth Century." e.e. cummings has been a favorite poet of mine since I stumbled across a book of his poetry in a thrift-store long ago. I just read "my father moved through dooms of love" for American Literature this week. I was disappointed that we didn't get to talk about it in class because I really enjoyed it! Ah well...

I enjoyed reading Anthony Robinson's article, especially for the information about e.e. cummings. For instance, I knew that e.e. cummings is considered a bit of a rebellious soul - note the lack of capital letters in his name! I have an older book of poetry that capitalizes his name and I find it irritating - if dude doesn't want capitals... but anyway.

What I didn't know was that cummings "was very much a traditionalist in subject matter and form." He wasn't just randomly throwing poems together - he worked very hard to create what he did.

Robinson writes, "Cummings' genius is making these sonnets seem 'un-sonnetlike.' Working extensively within the form but refusing to be matered by it, he created poems of soaring beauty that stretched the definition of the sonnet, while attesting to its elevance in a modern age."

How neat! I guess that just proves that in order to really be rebellious and make a difference, you need to be working from the inside - in other words, e.e. cummings worked within what was already a well-defined and accepted framework and pushed the limits. He takes what is comfortable and familiar and changes it. I think that is so cool!

Now I'm looking forward to digging out my old, falling apart copy of e.e. cummings poetry in order to re-read his works using what I have learned this semester! Spring break here I come!

Moira at 11:41 AM :: Comments (0) :: ::
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