Love Poems You Didn’t Write: Since Feeling is First

tumblr_mpsffcmQRE1styy8io1_500So I changed the title. Please feel free to submit a formal complaint to the management. You can consider this the fourth and final installment of the “Love Poems You Wish You Had Written” series for 2015. There is about a half hour left in the day of the man who died to marry people (or so the story of St. Valentine goes). My sweetheart is in a food coma on the couch and we haven’t even gotten to dessert yet. I guess I overdid it.

Having worked in the restaurant industry, at first by choice and then as a means of survival, the last place I wanted to be was out on the town tonight. So I cooked, oh boy did I cook. Brie with apricots, honey, pecans and golden raisins; Caesar salad with red onions and red romaine; and Brian’s favorite, chicken Parmesan with my own pasta sauce. Maybe it was the champagne that knocked him out?

I suppose this situation is an apt illustration for the principle in tonight’s poem. I enjoy cooking, the feeling of being creative in the kitchen, knowing that I’m giving people pleasure through that creation. If I started with the technique, and never got past it, the result might be a good dish, but I am guessing it would be missing something of the magic. Poetry perhaps is like that, if you’ll allow me the metaphor. First come the feelings, then the writing, then the honing and crafting and polishing to make it a piece of art.

And if you spend too much time analyzing, “paying attention to the syntax of things,” you’ll miss the magic, the fun of just wholly embracing (dare I say it?) “the joy of cooking,” glass of wine in hand, friends, family or lovers in the kitchen, or nearby, maybe strumming a guitar, playing the piano, petting the cat, losing a video game. Don’t suck the magic out of the art, out of the moment. Just enjoy it. Perhaps that is what Cummings is saying.

No matter what I cook, when I am proud and happy that my hubby is happy, I start to describe how I accomplished the meal, listing ingredients, bragging about the technique. But Brian invariably protests, “Don’t demystify it for me!” Isn’t that cute? He just wants to savor the magic. e-e-cs

Kathleen over at The Course of Our Seasons requested this poem by E. E. Cummings and I include for you the awful and silly reading I did of it on my balcony in 2011. I had my cool shades on, the flowers behind me; the sun was out. I was feeling goofy and springy because “spring was in the world,” and I was shooting for some novel way of reciting the poem, some unconventional approach.

Well, some people loved it, but the most fantastic response (I regret deleting it) was from a guy who said, “That was my favorite poem. You ruined it.” Ha! Well, you are welcome, friend. Sometimes that YouTube thing is just a vehicle of fun. Let’s not take it so seriously, even if we aren’t sure anymore if we were trying to be serious or not. God, I hope I wasn’t, because this truly is awful!

I must say though, I was proud that I memorized the piece–not one of my strengths, I assure you. The second video below is much more tame and balanced, by a lovely young man who is a complete stranger to me. I assume this was a homework assignment for him, but hey, guy, nice job! I like how he reverently recites the poem, not too much emotion, but not robotic either. He also has some insightful commentary after the musical interlude, which he ties to the poem quite cleverly.

As is often the case, I include the poem (this time at the top of the page) so you can follow. Whatever you did today, alone with your beautiful, lovely self, or in the company of those you adore, I wish you the happiest of Valentine’s days, or Valentine’s weekends now, since by my Eastern Standard clock it is now quarter past midnight. I wasn’t paying any attention.

PS. And yes, he wrote it “E. E. Cummings“.


25 Comments Add yours

  1. I enjoyed both your cooking analogy and Unknown Homework Guy’s Beethoven analogy, but yours had chicken parmesan and champagne, sooo. . . (My phone’s autocorrect just tried to change Beethoven to Beehive, twice. I don’t get that. )

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Beehives make beautiful music while paying no attention to the syntax of things. Makes sense.
      There are leftovers and champagne. How soon can you get here?

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Because that’s exactly what Brian wanted on Valentine’s Day — a chicken parmesan-mooching, champagne swilling houseguest. Tempting ,though!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. PB Rippey says:

    Lovely post, David, thank you for it. Happy Valentine’s Day and happy writing. And I wish more of us would memorize poems!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Always a joy to see you, PB! And yes, I have a few I have memorized, but I think I need to do more of that. Thank you!


  3. Wonderfully honest and it is better read out that read alone. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Julie! How lovely to read your walks with poetry! I had been away from the blog awhile and I’ll have to get back to those walks too.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I really enjoyed what you wrote today. It flowed so nicely I can tell it was written from a place of love. That is, love for your partner, love of life, love of the verse. Just now I was going to type “Hope you had a wonderful Valentine’s Day” but it’s obvious you did. Good for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Charles! How was the home-made pizza? I am craving that now. If you get the impulse to stop by and help me do all these dishes, I still have left overs! 😀


  5. keatsbabe says:

    Reblogged this on No more wriggling out of writing …… and commented:
    Over the past few days I have been posting a series of pieces headlined ‘Love poems you wish you had written’, from an idea originally mooted by David J Beauman, AKA The Dad Poet. When David saw that I was returning to the series, after a break of two years, he reciprocated, reblogging a couple of my selections (or rather the poems requested by my mates on social media). So today I return the compliment, because he has posted an intriguing poem by E E Cummings, and compares the ‘syntax of things’ to cooking a meal for the man he loves. Creating something delicious needs a basic technique, but a whole lot more magic to make it special…..
    Thanks for all the inspiration David. Here’s to a poetic 2015 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, thank YOU, Suzie! I’ll comment more over on your blog because what I have to say fits in with some of the things you write about beyond the poems. Thanks for inspiring me again, and for unwittingly nudging me to get up and stop wriggling out of writing.:)


  6. ManicDdaily says:

    Hey David, My husband and I enjoyed re-listening to the Cummings–then I got lost somehow in the blog–and was happy to see so many different Cummings poems you have highlighted.

    Re cooking–very sympathetic there–you know I used to cook a great deal, but somehow I just don’t anymore–both of my daughters are very good at it, so they tend to take over when they visit, and my husband is a carnivore and I am a long-term vegetarian–but I do understand the care spent on a meal–and the slight disappointment when the eater actually eats it and passes out! Ha. Oh well. Perhaps the meal should be delayed to end of evening! Take care, and thanks. k.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ManicDdaily says:

      PS – I prefer the “wish you had written” head–somehow the other seems a bit aggressive to me. almost a little hostile–maybe if it were poems “A Love Poem I Didn’t Write-” if you want to make it shorter–just a thought–k.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Oh, it’s no worry. We didn’t eat until 8, and he really isn’t used to champagne. He woke up around midnight to thank me. 🙂


    3. And can I just say what an honor and thrill it is to hear that you were listening to these readings with your hubby! I do like to leave those breadcrumbs of links all over the place, don’t I? I’m glad you enjoyed getting lost here!


    4. Oh, and as for the truncated title. Well, yes, I did mean it to be more of a jolt, sort of my poetic way of signalling that I was finished with this series for the year. Obviously you felt that abrupt change in meter more jarring than I intended. It was probably the bubbles that had me more flippant, but I really wanted to make the title stand out, and do a bit of silly tongue-out taunting that no matter what Cummings is a master. 🙂 Sorry for the bump in the road. I must remember what a shock that is for the passengers.

      I admit too that for organization sake it does bug me now that this post won’t fit in under the others in keywords. Time to create a category I suppose. Thank you again for being so sweet and attentive!


    5. ManicDdaily says:

      Ha. You are very welcome! It is my pleasure. Good luck. K .

      Liked by 1 person

  7. A perfectly lovely way to end the Valentine’s hoopla – smiles. Thanks for this charming post and readings of one of my favorite poems – you’re a peach! K


    1. You are such a sweetheart! Thank you, K, for your enthusiastic participation. It makes it all the more fun and rewarding. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!


    2. Good morning, David – just popping in to say hello – have missed your posts- hope you are well and having a warmer and sunshinier weekend! K

      Liked by 1 person

    3. Thank you, K! I’m working on some things, and will post again soon. It warms my heart to know I’m missed! XO


  8. slpmartin says:

    Ah your reading had such a nature flow…thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

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