in Just-spring

By E. E. Cummings 1894–1962

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

 

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When I first heard this poem by ee cummings I was so struck by the imagery of it, I never forgot it. I don’t remember what class I was sitting in or what teacher it was that made it come alive when they read it aloud but I do remember feeling like he got it just right.

I remember walking home from school in February or March after a cold spring rain, walking through puddles and seeing daffodils and tulips bowing under the weight of the water, and then how vibrant and alive the world turned when the sun came out. Each time, I would remember this poem, and the little lame balloon man. In my mind I could see him part walking, part listing from side to side with his big bunch of balloons for sale.

Good poetry, like good art or good music wakes us up, stuns us with the beauty of the world.  That’s because it is God inspired. Great music….great art…..great poetry or writing,  has the power to lift us beyond ourselves. If it is truly good, it makes us better. 

It’s why people gasp and fall silent when they first see a true Masterpiece in an art gallery. Like nature, it wiggles you down to the core……takes your breath away and makes the world stop for just a moment.

Because just for an instant you almost believe you’ve found God’s pulse.

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