(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens; only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands.
I have always loved the last stanza of the poem “Somewhere I have never traveled”. Like most E.E. Cummings’ poems, and any great poem for that matter, it’s the stark intimacy of an internal dialogue we get to be part of, that draws me in.
Edward Estlin Cummings’ poetry is beloved, or at least well-known, in the English-speaking world. What might not be as common knowledge is that poetry wasn’t Cummings’ only creative outlet. For his entire life, E.E. Cummings painted, drew and sketched – his “twin obsession”, he called it – gaining some fame within the avant-garde movement of the 1920s and ‘30s, a movement he always refused to feel part of on the grounds of its exclusivity.
After his death, the executors of his estate catalogued drawings and paintings stretching from his childhood to his death: from images of the circus to abstraction, from nudes to portraits.
Many are as intimate as his poems, if not as experimental. His nudes are graphic and sensual and wouldn’t go amiss within a revised edition of the Kamasutra (Cummings owned an enormous collection of erotic poetry from all over the world).
All help in defining a multi-faceted, and at times controversial life.
as she stands, with her long hard hands keeping
silence on her dress, ….
Images copyright of the E.E. Cummings Estate