by E. E. Cummings

E. E. Cummings


when the spent days begins to frail
(whose grave already three or two
young stars with spades of silver dig)

by beauty i declare to you

if what i am at one o’clock
to little lips(which have not sinned
in whose displeasure lives a kiss)
kneeling,your frequent mercy begs,

sharply believe me, wholly, well
—did (wisely suddenly into
a dangerous womb of cringing air)
the largest hour push deep his din

of wallowing male(shock beyond shock
blurted) strokes, vibrant with the purr
of echo pouring in a mesh
of following tone: did this and this

spire strike midnight(and did occur
bell beyond fiercely spurting bell
a jetted music splashing fresh
upon silence)i without fail

entered because and was these twin
imminent lisping bags of flesh;
became eyes moist lithe shuddering big,
the luminous laughter,and the legs

one,i am this blueeyed Finn
emerging from a lovehouse who
buttons his coat against the wind



motivated by midnight
the flyspecked abdominous female
indubitably tellurian
emitting minute grins

each an intaglio.
has also carved upon her much

too white forehead a pair of
eyes which mutter thickly (as one merely
terricolous American an instant doubts
the authenticity

of these antiquities—relaxing
elsewhere; to blow

incredible wampum


here is little Effie's head
whose brains are made of gingerbread
when the judgment day comes
God will find six crumbs

stooping by the coffinlid
waiting for something to rise
as the other somethings did—
you imagine His surprise

bellowing through the general noise
Where is Effie who was dead?
—to God in a tiny voice,
i am may the first crumb said

where upon its fellow five
crumbs chuckled as if they were alive
and number two took up the song,
might i'm called and did no wrong

cried the third crumb,i am should
and this is my little sister could
with our big brother who is would
don't punish us for we were good;

and the last crumb with some shame
whispered unto God, my name
is must and with the others i've
been Effie who isn't alive

just imagine it I say
God amid a monstrous din
watch your step and follow me
stooping by Effie's little, in

(want a match or can you see?)
which the six subjunctive crumbs
twitch like mutilated thumbs:
picture His peering biggest whey

coloured face on which a frown
puzzles, but I know the way—
(nervously Whose eyes approve
the blessed while His ears are crammed

with the strenous music of
the innumerable capering damned)
—staring wildly up and down
and here we are now judgment day

cross the threshold have no dread
lift the sheet back in this way.
here is little Effie's head
whose brains are made of gingerbread

Last updated December 20, 2022