how lucky lovers are)whose selves abide
under whatever shall discovered be)
whose ignorant each breathing dares to hide
more than most fabulous wisdom fears to see
— E.E. Cummings
A woman my views on (sex and) women seeks to gather.
We’re thinking of partnering; these seem greatly to matter –
Revealing if I’ll do or not. Or does she really wish
To continue on alone instead of love with its risks?
And might me she accuse of lacking in her interest –
Too happy to let time tell, shopping without a list!
Of information-seeking doves I am too prone to ask:
When knowledge and true love didst thou last see well attached?
I hear you decry men’s objectification of women,
And with Shades of Gray and Girls you’re apparently smitten.
About your and my desires we can only be confused
And frightened of those appetites our lust would abuse.
Though little drawn to media meant to shock or titillate,
I can help rumple your sheets, while indecision fluctuates!
— Poem and drawing by William Eaton
Watercolor drawing is after one of Toulouse-Lautrec’s many drawings of Marcelle Lender, a French singer, dancer and entertainer.
Further notes: The Cummings poem might be found by its first line: “love’s function is to fabricate unknownness”.
As regards poetic form, I wonder what might mean a shift from the 10-syllable line of sonnets past to the 13-15-syllable line that has seemed right in the present case? When read aloud, such lines are not easy to get out of the mouth, but they do allow greater use of polysyllabic words.
A friend has also suggested that poetry publishers prefer poems that are short and narrow. Easier to skim, I would say. As, starry-eyed, I continue to wait for an actual reader to land on my island?
And I note, too, that it cannot be irrelevant that in the days this poem was taking shape, I read some comments on Andrew Marvell’s To His Coy Mistress. And there is a connection here, too, with Limerick 53, from Part II (Injustice, Trump, Illness, Poetry):
If in some new place you lose your way
Your compass’s north goes astray
It can be months of confusion
Of annoyance and disillusion
“But there’s no wrong in the night,” lovers say.