E.E. Cummings: “poem”

Poem

what time is it? it is by every star
a different time, and each most falsely true;
or so subhuman superminds declare

— not all their times encompass me and you:

when we are never, but forever now
(hosts of eternity; not guests of seem)
believe me, dear, clocks have enough to do

without confusing timelessness and time.

Time cannot children, poets, lovers tell —
Measure imagine, mystery, a kiss
— not though mankind would rather know than feel:

mistrusting utterly that timelessness

whose absence would make your whole life and my
(and infinite our) merely to undie

 

E. E. Cummings

Originally published in Shenandoah in 1962 and reprinted in Strongly Spent,
an anthology of poems from Shenandoah published in spring/summer 2003.


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