By E. E. Cummings
E.e. cummings is with no query one of many significant poets of this century, and this quantity, first released in 1959, is vital for each lover of recent lyrical verse. It includes 100 of cummings’s wittiest and so much profound poems, harvested from thirty-five of the main noticeably artistic years in modern American poetry. those poems express all of the remarkable lyricism, playfulness, technical ingenuity, and compassion for which cummings is known. They show fantastically his extrapolations from conventional poetic buildings and his departures from them, in addition to the original synthesis of lavish imagery and acute inventive precision that has received him the adulation and appreciate of critics and poetry fans everywhere.
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Extra resources for 100 Selected Poems
21 For Benjamin, the human scale and size of a story is more important than its factual content. ”22 Indeed, as in Benjamin’s example, the anecdote could be sheer invention and still be capable of expressing historical truth. His anecdote of 40 men takes the otherwise imponderable stretch of historical time from Christ’s birth to the present and rescues that time from abstraction by scaling it to a succession of human-sized experiences. In other words, Benjamin’s small ﬁction applies to this time span (which would otherwise quickly become abstracted as homogenous, empty time) the largest measure of time that we can experience concretely: a lifetime.
28 There is a round, clothed breakfast table and two stools, a draped window with a bouquet of ﬂowers on the sill, a decorative wall hanging, and a framed painted landscape, partially obscured by a pipe running to the ceiling from the dark, cylindrical fuel stove ﬁxed to the ﬂoor. In the upper left quadrant, a man sits at the table reading the newspaper. He does not appear in the other three quadrants, or, more precisely, the viewer recognizes that he is absent from the others. Seeing him once, especially in the upper left corner (the location where one might begin reading a newspaper or even a comic strip), the viewer becomes aware that the man has disappeared from the other three scenes.
But, as 32 MODERNIST FICTION AND NEWS we have already observed, for Benjamin the guarantor of experience is the ﬁnality of death, which obviously plays the crucial role in his small ﬁction. News or Anecdote, Empathy or Pathos Let us now proceed to an earlier passage in this rich cluster of ideas in the “First Sketches” in order to see how Benjamin deﬁnes anecdotal narrative forms, such as the Christ anecdote, against “empathetic” forms that he associates with the newspaper: The constructions of history are comparable to instructions that commandeer the true life and conﬁne it to barracks.
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