Home > 1. Famous Poems, 555. The Golden Thread > O sweet spontaneous… e.e. cummings

O sweet spontaneous… e.e. cummings

File:Flowers (Zhao Zhiqian) - 7.jpg


RT has been a fan of e.e. cumming’s work ever since he first read it in 9th grade; it might not be going too far to say that this was the moment when RT realized he was a poet. And without doubt, RT’s style has been deeply influenced by cummings. It is perhaps a cliche, but nonetheless worth pointing out, that cummings was a formalist who liked to play with form; some of his pieces are sonnets that have been typographically rearranged. At the same time, the intensity of cumming’s lyric voice places him firmly with the moderns–his genius transcends genre.

So, who better to celebrate the gates of spring than this impish author? Here is one of his best.   RT


O sweet spontaneous
earth how often have
the doting

               fingers of
prurient philosophies pinched

has the naughty thumb
of science prodded

      beauty        how
often have religions taken
thee upon their scraggy
knees squeezing and

buffeting thee that thou mightest conceive

to the incomparable
couch of death thy

       thou answerest

them only with



PaintingA leaf from the album “Flowers” by Zhao Zhiqian (1829-1884). This album was completed in the 9th year of the Xiangfeng reign (1859). Shanghai Museum. User: Inductiveload. WikiCmns. Public Domain.


  1. mj
    February 14, 2013 at 5:21 am

    beautiful! love it!

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