Illimitably Earth

Reading Gerard Manley Hopkins recently I was put in mind of a poem by e.e.cummings. I was prompted to reread Hopkins by posts on Solitary Walker’s blog. Returning there today and reading about Emerson and Thoreau (and thinking that I must reread Walden – so many books!), I followed a link to In A Dark Time and seeing the title ‘Celebration of Spring’ expected to see that same poem that I had been reminded of. I suspect that there are probably several cummings poems that could be classed as celebrations of spring. This is the one that I particularly treasure:

i thank You God for most this amazing
day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue dream of sky;and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun’s birthday;this is the birth
day of life and love and wings;and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any – lifted from the no
of all nothing – human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

I’m not entirely sure what links this poem and Hopkins in my mind. Something in the rhythm perhaps. Perhaps the shared religious sentiment and joie de vivre of this and ‘Pied Beauty’?

Illimitably Earth

4 thoughts on “Illimitably Earth

  1. loren says:

    I suggested in my blog that cummings reminded me of the Metaphysical Poets, but it also crossed my mind on re-reading his poetry was also similar in some ways to Hopkins, another favorite I’ve written about earlier.

  2. beatingthebounds says:

    I noticed that you mentioned Herbert and Donne. I’m sure that I have read at least a few poems by each of them but now I want to go back to my anthologies (or perhaps your archives) and search them out. So thank you.
    I’m thinking perhaps that there might be an Andrew Marvell connection here too….’green thoughts in a green shade’. From ‘The Garden’ I think?

  3. Loren says:

    Better look in your anthologies. My blog only comments on poets I’ve read in the last five years or so since I’ve retired, and I’m yet to get back to them, though Donne and Marvel are too of my favorite British poets.

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