Poem of the Day – she being Brand

she being Brand

-new;and you
know consequently a
little stiff i was
careful of her and(having

thoroughly oiled the universal
joint tested my gas felt of
her radiator made sure her springs were O.

K.)i went right to it flooded-the-carburetor cranked her

up,slipped the
clutch(and then somehow got into reverse she
kicked what
the hell)next
minute i was back in neutral tried and

again slo-wly;bare,ly nudg.  ing(my

lev-er Right-
oh and her gears being in
A 1 shape passed
from low through
second-in-to-high like
greasedlightning)just as we turned the corner of Divinity

avenue i touched the accelerator and give

her the juice,good


was the first ride and believe i we was
happy to see how nice she acted right up to
the last minute coming back down by the Public
Gardens i slammed on

brakes Bothatonce and

brought allofher tremB
to a:dead.


-e.e. cummings

This is a wonderful poem for so many reasons. Everyone that I’ve reviewed this poem with has their own favorite part. It’s a favorite of mine because of the way Cummings masterfully employs the english language. Initially looking at the poem it’s hectic and daunting. After a read through it’s striking and affecting.

The strong sexual undertones don’t hurt either.

C. Harder

Related posts:

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  2. Poem for Silhouette

7 Responses to “Poem of the Day – she being Brand”

  1. theothergardener writes:

    cummings is in a funny mood here. Have you ever heard his voice? There are a few recordings of him reading his stuff: lilting, falling-away, delicatedelicate intonations…. He sounds like a man dying of the idea of breathlessness itself.

  2. Christian Harder writes:

    I searched Youtube quickly and came up with this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iITDyFpFKRg

    His voice is very delicate. In fact, it reminds me a little of T.S. Eliot’s voice. Poets of decades past read with a great drama that really reinforced their work. The side fact is that they sound a little silly.

    -Christian Harder

  3. sonofwalt writes:

    This is a great piece, and one by cummings that I hadn’t read before. Thank you! It would be challenging to read aloud, but I might give it a go after some serious practice. :) I’m glad I came across your blog!

  4. Christian Harder writes:

    I’m glad I could show you something you hadn’t seen. He does have some strange stuff, but it’s important to give it a chance! Really, if you read it as if there were no crazy punctuation, you’d be close enough. Truthfully, the punctuation adds to the rhythm in a great way, but just read it out and you’ll get the feel for it!

    -Christian Harder

  5. Christian Harder writes:

    Also, I just checked out your blog. I really like it! Your readings are extremely good. Haha I don’t think you’d have a problem reading this at all.

  6. sonofwalt writes:

    Hey, thanks for the listen and the kudos. A couple of days ago I read “My Love Is Building a Building” by cummings and I agree, the breathlessness and erratic pauses caused by his choice of punctuation is a lot of fun to experiment with. This one of yours here is more of a biggie though. Drives me crazy to get several minutes into a poem, flub up and have to do a second take. But I might give this one a go after all.

  7. theothergardener writes:

    I like cummings’ voice. Eliot always sounds like he’s marching off to war to me.

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