Mud-luscious

i thank You God for most this amazing

day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees

and a blue true dream of sky;and for everything

which is natural which is infinite which is yes

— E.E. Cummings (Selected Poems)

Rain seems common these days. This year, spring and early summer has been rain-filled, more so than I remember it being for a while. I don’t think I’ve ever not had to water my flowers for so long in all my years of gardening. While I’m not a great fan of the scorching summer days that can normally be found around here, there are moments when I’d like to see some sun. Watching the news, my heart breaks for all the losses suffered by strange weather lately, tornadoes and floods included.

But it also brought to mind the fun-filled days of childhood, playing out in the rain, stomping in puddles, and getting absolutely, completely, downright dirty in the mud. The puddle-wonderful, mud-luscious moments.

If you’ve browsed this site before, you might recall that E. E. Cummings is one of my favorite poets. I love his unexpected playfulness, his way of making you see words and punctuation in ways different from how you normally see them. Whenever I read his poetry, I always go back to my work wanting to make it tighter, the word choices better, the prose more lyrical. The Poetry Foundation has a marvelous biographical and critical article if you are interested in learning more about his life and his contributions to poetry.

In the meantime, on this rainy day, I’ll share a couple of my favorites with you here.

Chansons Innocentes: I
by E. E. Cummings

in Just-
spring when the world is mud-
luscious the little
lame balloonman

whistles far and wee

and eddieandbill come
running from marbles and
piracies and it’s
spring

when the world is puddle-wonderful

the queer
old balloonman whistles
far and wee
and bettyandisbel come dancing

from hop-scotch and jump-rope and

it’s
spring
and
the
goat-footed

balloonMan whistles
far
and
wee

anyone lived in a pretty how town
by E. E. Cummings

anyone lived in a pretty how town
(with up so floating many bells down)
spring summer autumn winter
he sang his didn’t he danced his did

Women and men(both little and small)
cared for anyone not at all
they sowed their isn’t they reaped their same
sun moon stars rain

children guessed(but only a few
and down they forgot as up they grew
autumn winter spring summer)
that noone loved him more by more

when by now and tree by leaf
she laughed his joy she cried his grief
bird by snow and stir by still
anyone’s any was all to her

someones married their everyones
laughed their cryings and did their dance
(sleep wake hope and then)they
said their nevers they slept their dream

stars rain sun moon
(and only the snow can begin to explain
how children are apt to forget to remember
with up so floating many bells down)

one day anyone died i guess
(and noone stooped to kiss his face)
busy folk buried them side by side
little by little and was by was

all by all and deep by deep
and more by more they dream their sleep
noone and anyone earth by april
wish by spirit and if by yes.

Women and men(both dong and ding)
summer autumn winter spring
reaped their sowing and went their came
sun moon stars rain

If you’re interested in hearing Cummings read this poem, the audio is available at The Poetry Archive. For more excellent lines and quotes from Cummings, check out the entries on Goodreads.

If you have a favorite poem or poet, please share it with us! I’m always looking for new things to pass the time on these mud-luscious days.

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