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Monday, June 25, 2007

Famous Poetry: Langston Hughes and ee Cummings

Here are a couple of verses that stick out. In A Dream Deferred by Langston Hughes, I think this aptly describes the Negro League experience. Many players were "dried up" due to their age and the policies of MLB in the early 1900's. But when they did "explode" the game changed forever.

A Dream Deferred by Langston Hughes

What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
Like a raisin in the sun?

Or fest like a sore-
And then run?

Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over –
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

I just like ee cummings. He was a fairly interesting sort, though I could never have kept up with his ideas... His "normal poetry" to me is better than the images he makes in some of his more creative work...Understanding it probably has a lot to do with that.

I like the parallels between the three verses in this one:

what if a much of a which of a wind by ee cummings

what if a much of a which of a wind
gives the truth to summer's lie;
bloodies with dizzying leaves the sun
and yanks immortal stars awry?
Blow king to beggar and queen to seem
(blow friend to fiend: blow space to time)
-when skies are hanged and oceans drowned,
the single secret will still be man

what if a keen of a lean wind flays
screaming hills with sleet and snow:
strangles valleys by ropes of thing
and stifles forests in white ago?
Blow hope to terror; blow seeing to blind
(blow pity to envy and soul to mind)
-whose hearts are mountains, roots are trees,
it's they shall cry hello to the spring

what if a dawn of a doom of a dream
bites this universe in two,
peels forever out of his grave
and sprinkles nowhere with me and you?
Blow soon to never and never to twice
(blow life to isn't:blow death to was)
-all nothing's only our hugest home;
the most who die, the more we live
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