To joy and hope: A rant

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

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun’s birthday;this is the birth
day of life and of 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)

e e cummings

I love this poem.

It is one of my favourite, most cherished poems ever. Sometimes when I read it, joy and gratitude sings in my chest and warms my heart.

Edward Estlin Cummings, aka e e cummings, was an American poet, writer and artist who produced much of his work in the 1920s.

A pedant’s nightmare, I love how he broke the rules of English grammar, syntax, even spelling to play with ideas and emotion.

He was a contemporary of Modernist poets like T. S. Elliot and W. H. Auden, but his work had a sense of joy and playfulness that these poets often lacked.

He wasn’t for stopping all the clocks. He wanted to thank God for a glorious day. For being born again. For all the times nature smacks us in the face with its beauty against that clear blue sky.

It’s what we all need to be reminded of sometimes. To know there is hope and joy around the corner.

It’s what I try to hold on to when times are bleak. When there is nothing but constant dullness that soaks the world grey; a baseline ache that doesn’t go away. Mercifully, those times are few and their intensity and duration have lessened over the years. For that, I am grateful to a power beyond myself.

I try to remember moments of little pleasures and big hearted tenderness because there can be times it feels like life hangs on these quiet moments. Like the times warm summer sunshine soaked my back; when mangoes were sweet and their juice dripped from my fingers; when the sky was deep clear blue and the air was fresh against my skin.

And hugs. Big, honest embraces from the few I love and trust. The ones that warm us from the inside and make us feel safe.

I once met a man with a crushing sadness. It was all he could do to get up and sit at the end of his bed each day. Hours would go by and he could not move. But every day, he would force himself to do something small. Sometimes, on good days, he made it out of his room and walked around the neighbourhood.

One beautiful evening, when the clouds were soaked purple and the heavens were stained orange and lilac by a spectacular sunset, I saw him standing on the footpath, drinking in the sky.

“It’s a glorious day to be alive,” he nodded as I walked past him.

“It certainly is,” I smiled.

There are so many moments that can’t be bought, only lived and cherished.

I love this poem, because it reminds me of sunshine after the rain; of being found after you’ve been lost.

For who doesn’t need hope and joy to explode, seep, dance into your heart every once in a while?

That is all.

Featured image by Alex Alvarez on Unsplash

6 thoughts on “To joy and hope: A rant

  1. Yes! I sincerely love this rant… and I’m not even a religious person. For as long as I am able, I shall endeavor to experience every beauty that I am gifted by this life. I don’t claim to know of what comes after, but I do know of those “moments that can’t be bought, only lived and cherished.”

    “Dark clouds become heaven’s flowers when kissed by light… Clouds come floating into my life from other days no longer to shed rain or usher storm but to give colour to my sunset sky.”
    — Rabindranath Tagore, “Stray Birds” (249, 292)

    Liked by 1 person

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