a man who had fallen among thieves: ee cummings

a man who had fallen among thieves
lay by the roadside on his back
dressed in fifteenthrate ideas
wearing a round jeer for a hat

fate per a somewhat more than less
emancipated evening
had in return for consciousness
endowed him with a changeless grin

whereon a dozen staunch and leal
citizens did graze at pause
then fired by hypercivic zeal
sought newer pastures or because

swaddled with a frozen brook
of pinkest vomit out of eyes
which noticed nobody he looked
as if he did not care to rise

one hand did nothing on the vest
its wideflung friend clenched weakly dirt
while the mute trouserfly confessed
a button solemny inert.

Brushing from whom the stiffened puke
i put him all into my arms
and staggered banged with terror through
a million billion trillion stars

ee cummings


2 thoughts on “a man who had fallen among thieves: ee cummings

  1. I’m familiar with some of eecummings’ lighter poetry, so I can’t say I was prepared for this. It reminds me of St. Francis kissing the leper: the repulsion and then a release beyond all imagining.

    I do want to thank you ever so much for these poems. I have only recently begun to really start to appreciate poetry, and these are exactly what I have been looking for.


    • I am so glad you like these Carol! I think we all studied cummings as a ‘modern’ poet and usually majored on his very offbeat punctuation etc., which is how I saw him for years until I came across his ‘somewhere I have never travelled’ (I’m going to post it next on my blog). In fact his ‘Collected Poetry’ (my edition with Faber) reveals a very astute insight into the human condition and a strong Christian sympathy. Add that to his own ‘sprung rythm’ and his clever placement of words in unorthodox order to give new meaning and emphasis and you have a poet of rare genius. Frankly I think he is underrated, and I am glad I have found a fellow admirer!


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