Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


Songs (III)

Always before your voice my soul 
half-beautiful and wholly droll 
is as some smooth and awkward foal, 
whereof young moons begin 
the newness of his skin, 

so of my stupid sincere youth 
the exquisite failure uncouth 
discovers a trembling and smooth 
Unstrength,against the strong 
silences of your song; 

or as a single lamb whose sheen 
of full unsheared fleece is mean 
beside its lovelier friends,between 
your thoughts more white than wool 
My thought is sorrowful: 

but my heart smote in trembling thirds 
of anguish quivers to your words, 
As to a flight of thirty birds 
shakes with a thickening fright 
the sudden fooled light.

it is the autumn of a year: 
When through the thin air stooped with fear, 
across the harvest whitely peer 
empty of surprise 
death's faultless eyes 

(whose hand my folded soul shall know 
while on faint hills do frailly go 
The peaceful terrors of the snow, 
and before your dead face 
which sleeps,a dream shall pass) 

and these my days their sounds and flowers 
Fall in a pride of petaled hours, 
like flowers at the feet of mowers 
whose bodies strong with love 
through meadows hugely move. 

yet what am i that such and such 
mysteries very simply touch 
me,whose  heart-wholeness overmuch 
Expects of your hair pale, 
a terror musical? 

while in an earthless hour my fond 
soul seriously yearns beyond 
this fern of sunset frond on frond 
opening in a rare 
Slowness of  gloried air... 

The flute of morning stilled in noon— 
noon the implacable bassoon— 
now Twilight seeks the thrill of moon, 
washed with a wild and thin 
despair of violin

Credit


This poem is in the public domain.

Author


E. E. Cummings

Edward Estlin Cummings is known for his radical experimentation with form, punctuation, spelling, and syntax; he abandoned traditional techniques and structures to create a new, highly idiosyncratic means of poetic expression.

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/songs-iii