Silent Poetry Reading (a day late)

Feb. 2 wasn't just Groundhog Day, it was Silent Poetry Reading day in blogland. I'm a day late with this because I kinda forgot about it. I'm not much of a poetry reader, to be truthful. I'm one for clear, direct prose, be it in fictional or non-fictional form. The one exception is song settings. I love the relationship between text and music in art song, so much so that I did my dissertation work on settings of several poems by E.E. Cummings (yes, the capitalization is on purpose, and here's why if you're interested). I made a recording of a dozen songs by various composers and wrote an 85-page paper about them. I've barely thought about either the recording or the paper in two months, but thinking about Silent Poetry Reading Day made me remember one of the more striking poems I studied, an angry anti-war piece called "plato told him."

I'm sharing this particular one with you today because I just heard that Friday's suicide bombings in Baghdad were carried out by two women with Down's Syndrome. The bombs were detonated remotely. That was the most horrible, horrible thing...I can't really find the words to express how sad and angry I am that there are people on this earth who would take advantage of those women and that the situation in Iraq is such that it could happen in the first place. So I'll let Cummings say it for me:

plato told

him:he couldn't
believe it(jesus

told him;he
wouldn't believe
it)lao

tsze
certainly told
him,and general
(yes

mam)
sherman;
and even
(believe it
or

not)you
told him:i told
him;we told him
(he didn't believe it,no

sir)it took
a nipponized bit of
the old sixth

avenue
el;in the top of his head:to tell

him

Comments

Pamela said…
wow. i hadn't read the news, so your post was the first i'd heard of that bombing. how absolutely horrible.
Andre said…
Cummings does cut like a knife, doesn't it?

Thanks for sharing this.
deborah oak said…
thank you...so much.

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