may my heart always be open to little
birds who are the secrets of living
whatever they sing is better than to know
and if men should not hear them men are old

may my mind stroll about hungry
and fearless and thirsty and supple
and even if it鈥檚 sunday may i be wrong
for whenever men are right they are not young

and may myself do nothing usefully
and love yourself so more than truly
there鈥檚 never been quite such a fool who could fail
pulling all the sky over him with one smile

Cummings, E. E.. Selected poems. New York, Liveright, 1994.


Why I chose this poem

Been thinking a lot lately about the ideas of being right and knowing facts, and, after reading Stephen Jenkinson, how knowing stands in opposition to learning ... that asks us to part with what we once held true, so that "whenever men are right they are not young" sparkles differently. Whenever I read cummings, something in me is always stretched thin between complete rebellion at the narrowness of his picture of his reader and the glimpses of beauty he offers.