Cumming’s “oDE”

I was a little surprised to discover that I had marked this poem as one of my favorites the first time I read it long ago while in college. I suspect I must have liked it for very different reasons than i do now:

136

oDE

o


the sweet & aged people
who rule this world(and me and

you if we’re not very
careful)

O,


the darling benevolent mindless
He-and She-
shaped waxworks filled
with dead ideas(the oh


quintillions of incredible
dodderingly godly toothless
always-so-much-interested-
in-everybody-else’s-business

bipeds)OH
the bothering
dear unnecessary hairless
o

ld

As a college student I must have seen this as a rebellious statement, now I find myself worrying I’ve become that doddering old fool “filled with dead ideas.” It’s hard not to feel like a dinosaur when you go to your local Blockbuster and can’t find a single movie you really want to sit through. Is that really music they play on most local stations? No wonder the record companies are complaining about losing money.

I must admit that every time I look at some “dodderingly godly toothless/ always-so-much-interested-/ in-everybody-else’s-business” Republican explaining why we must Stay The Course i’m pissed that the Republican party is giving a bad name to us poor old white guys.

3 thoughts on “Cumming’s “oDE”

  1. Many thanks for this mini-revival. It’s been many years since I read the collected e.e. cummings and am surprised, reading your recent posts, at how emotionally etched and resonant they seem to be still for me. Nice to think I apparently haven’t become as irredeemably cynical as I thought I had…

    All best, Nic

  2. Happiness is not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort.

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