Friday, July 10, 2015

Poetry Friday: "In Just---" Echoes of ee cummings

The assignment for the Poetry Seven this month was to write a poem in the style of ee cummings, taking one of his works as inspiration. Although cummings is one of my favorite poets, and I've blogged about him before (in relation to Frank Cottrell Boyce's fabulous novel, Cosmic) I did a little research anyway. And discovered this:

Between the ages of eight and twenty-two, cummings wrote a poem a day.

Yeah. That.

And here I am, trying to follow in his pen strokes.

First of all, I had a hard time naming what I was attempting to do. What did "in the style of" mean?


Then one of the Poetry Seven used a word I liked: echoing. Perhaps I could do that. (thanks, Andi!)

in Just-
dusk when the world is shadow-
mossed the one-winged lightningbug

blinks, incan/descent

and pillbugandmoth come
floating from screenshanks and 
scatterall and it’s

when the world is wing-wonderful

the lop-flighted
lighteningbug blinks
and beetleandroach come scalltering

from rot-hopping and stank-rope and

it’s dusk
lightningbug stutters



---Sara Lewis Holmes, inspired by "in Just-" by ee cummings

One more thing: we also decided to record these poems. Click on the sound file below to hear me read my work aloud.

Other echoes of ee cummings can be found at each of the Poetry Seven's blogs today:

Liz, echoing "i like my body when it is"
Tricia, echoing " a looking"
Tanita, echoing "the Cambridge ladies who live in furnished souls"
Laura,  echoing "Spring is like a perhaps hand"
Kelly,  echoing "maggie and milly and molly and may"
Andi, echoing "a wind has blown the rain away"

As a bonus, we've gathered all our recordings in one place on Soundcloud. (Perhaps we'll continue to record our work? I, for one, love hearing work read aloud.)

Poetry Friday is hosted today by Katie at the Logonauts.


  1. Sara, my sister's visiting this week and I didn't read your poem until now. You capture dusk perfectly--the magic of it, but also the absolute earthiness of it.

    "when the world is wing-wonderful" and the incan/descent refrain are my favorites!

  2. "when the world is wing-wonderful"
    How I LOVE that!!

    Thanks, Sara, for writing this and for sharing it. I just love it -- and I love hearing you read it too!

  3. Echoing works! Love the passed along flavor, finding magic in each word.

  4. I think I prefer this to the original, Sara, I truly do. We only get just-Spring once a year or so, but dusk is a repeating magic.

  5. This is incredible, Sara! I particularly love the incan/descent and its use throughout. Perfect poem for this time and season too. Thanks for sharing with Poetry Friday!

  6. " the lop-flighted
    lighteningbug blinks"

    I love that brave little single-oared stutterer. You've captured the magic of dusk and the mystery of keep-on-going. I think this should be a picture book my dear!

  7. I love this.

    And now I need to read some more E.E. Cummings!

  8. Love your reading "incan/descent"

    Though these are my favorite lines from your poem:

    floating from screenshanks and
    scatterall and it’s

    when the world is wing-wonderful

    So lovely. (A poem a day between 8 and 22? Yikes!)

  9. Humbling to write with you, Sara! Wow, you rocked this one!


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