Somewhere I have never travelled

I was photographing my globe for Project 365 and it made me think of my favourite (okay one of my favourite) ee cummings poems. His words always feel, not like poetry, not like music but like magical spells to me. I have a beautiful two-part hard cover collection of his poems on my bookshelf – after my camera it is the first thing I would grab in a fire.

somewhere i have never travelled

somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond
any experience,your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near

your slightest look easily will unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skilfully,mysteriously) her first rose

or if your wish be to close me, i and
my life will shut very beautifully, suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;

nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility: whose texture
compels me with the color of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing

(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens; only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands

I also went to the Exclusive Books sale this weekend and for less than R120 I picked up copies of Great Expectations (which I used to own but some borrowed it and never gave it back), Tess of D’Urbevilles and The Bell Jar. I do however have about 20 other books which I have bought or received waiting to be read – I have to start catching the Gautrain to work so I have enough time to read.

Some of my finds at the Exclusive Books sale this weekend - Tess of D'Urbevilles, Great Expectations and The Bell Jar.
Tess of D'Urbevilles is mentioned several times in the special note at the beginning of my copy of Madame Bovary, which is why it caught my eye.

12 thoughts on “Somewhere I have never travelled”

  1. I feel your excitement…picked up a copy of Maya Angelou-A Glorious Celebration, this weekend at the EB sale, amongst some other gems….Can’t wait to sink my teeth into it. All I have to do now is find the time for the teeth-sinking 😦

    1. I actually really enjoy the sales – sure there is a bit of junk but I always manage to walk away with some really good books. Also, Andrew and I have bought so many books lately that we got a R120 voucher on Fanatics which is not too shabby – certainly a better reward scheme than Dischem for example.

  2. Wow. I need to read more poetry. This one just made me cry, hard. I don’t think I’ve read an ee cummings poem since high school, but I remember now that I always liked him.

  3. Didnt know there was a sale! Is it still on? Thanks for the heads-up. So I guess I wont be borrowing your Charles Dickens anytime soon huh?

    1. Yup I’m sure it is still on – they usually go on for quite a while. There are lots of classics on sale…well I don’t lend books unless I don’t mind never seeing them again. I don’t really give books back so I know if someone takes from me I’m not likely to see it again.

    1. I think the beauty of reading poetry outside of school is that you get to enjoy it how you want, without anyone butting in. I don’t believe you can read any and every meaning into a poem but the way it is done in school is far too prescriptive.

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