April 02, 2006
that moment

... but the moment you feel, you're nobody-but-yourself.

To be nobody-but-yourself ó in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else ó means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.

--ee cummings

(the full piece is below the break.)

A poet is somebody who feels, and who expresses his feelings through words. This may sound easy, but it isnít. A lot of people think or believe or know they feel ó but thatís thinking or believing or knowing; not feeling. And poetry is feeling ó not knowing or believing or thinking.

Almost anybody can learn to think or believe or know, but not a single human being can be taught to feel. Why? Because whenever you think or you believe or you know, youíre a lot of other people: but the moment you feel, youíre nobody-but yourself.

To be nobody-but-yourself ó in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else ó means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.

As for expressing nobody-but-yourself in words, that means working just a little harder than anybody who isnít a poet can possibly imagine. Why? Because nothing is quite as easy as using words like somebody else. We all of us do exactly this nearly all of the time - and whenver we do it, we are not poets. If, at the end of your first ten or fifteen years of fighting and working and feeling, you find youíve written one line of one poem, youíll be very lucky indeed.

And so my advice to all young people who wish to become poets is: do something easy, like learning how to blow up the world ó unless youíre not only willing, but glad, to feel and work and fight till you die.

Does this sound dismal? It isnít.
Itís the most wonderful life on earth.
Or so I feel.

--ee cummings

Posted by shock at April 02, 2006 11:31 AM