"A Poet’s Advice to Students" and more

I’ve been thinking a lot about E.E. Cummings lately. When I was a teenager in the 1960s, he shaped my thinking and showed me goals to aim for … I remember the the feeling of recognition (“Yes, this is it!”) when reading his books and poetry, and my disgust when I read Ayn Rand.

I’m off to find “The Enormous Room” so that I can reread it, and  I’ve just reordered another copy of “i, six nonlectures” – they keep getting given away.

Here is a quote from “nonlectures”:

“Little by little and bruise by teacup, my doubly disillusioned spirit made an awesome discovery…that all groups, gangs, and collectives — no matter how apparently disparate — are fundamentally alike; and that what makes the world go ’round is not the trivial differences between them but the immeasurable difference between any of them and individuality.”

And another:

“Better Worlds are born, not made, and their birthdays are the birthdays of individuals. Let us pray always for individuals; never for worlds.”

More here:

As I see it, Cummings’ advice to students applies to all of us:

“A lot of people think or believe or know they feel—but that’s thinking or believing or knowing; not feeling. And poetry is feeling—not knowing or believing or thinking.

Almost anybody can learn to think or believe or know, but not a single human being can be taught to feel. Why? Because whenever you think or you believe or you know, you’re a lot of other people : but the moment you feel, you’re nobody-but-yourself.”

Read the rest of his advice here

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