Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Syntax of Love

who pays any attention
to the syntax of things
will never wholly kiss you . . .

~ e. e. cummings ~

Still Life #30 (Museum of Modern Art)
by Tom Wesselmann, 1931 - 2004
American collage artist, painter, sculptor

Something about this picture reminds me of one my favorite poems. I think it must be the window and the green grass, where perhaps the Sentences and Nouns are lying silently. And I suspect that the pot of flowers on the window sill might be on the verge of changing color due to some kind of factory or other, not far off there in the distance.


One day the Nouns were clustered in the street.
An adjective walked by, with her dark beauty.
The Nouns were struck, moved, changed.
The next day a Verb drove up, and created the Sentence.

Each Sentence says one thing -- for example,

"Although it was a dark rainy day when the Adjective walked by,
I shall remember the pure and sweet expression on her face
until the day I perish from the green, effective earth."

Or, "Will you please close the window, Andrew?"

Or, for example, "Thank you, the pink pot of flowers on
the window sill has changed color recently to a light
yellow, due to the heat from the boiler factory which
exists nearby."

In the springtime the Sentences and the Nouns lay silently on the grass.
A lonely Conjunction here and there would call, "And! But!"
But the Adjective did not emerge.

As the adjective is lost in the sentence,
So I am lost in your eyes, ears, nose, and throat --
You have enchanted me with a single kiss
Which can never be undone
Until the destruction of language.

by Kenneth Koch, 1925 - 2002 [pronounced "coke"]
American poet, playwright, professor

These poems and more can be found on my
~ The Syntax of Love ~

The Fortnightly Kitti Carriker:
A Fortnightly [every 14th & 28th] Literary Blog of
Connection & Coincidence; Custom & Ceremony

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