Poets like Walt Whitman inspires me.  Another one of my favorite poets, E.E. Cummings, tickles my brain with his words.

What tickles your brain?

somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond

by E.E. Cummings

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 rose


or if your wish be to close 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

Edward Estlin Cummings was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, October 14, 1884. His father was a professor of sociology and political science at Harvard University, and later a Unitarian minister. Cummings described his father as a hero and a person who could accomplish anything that he wanted to.

His mother, Rebecca, never partook in stereotypically “womanly” things. She loved poetry and reading to her children. Raised in a well-educated family, Cummings was a very smart boy and his mother encouraged Estlin to write more and more poetry every day. His first poem came when he was only three: “Oh little birdie oh oh oh, With your toe toe toe.”

Cummings was influenced by writers such as Gertrude Stein and Ezra Pound.  He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard in 1916.

During World War one he enlisted in the ambulance corps.  On September 21, 1917, just five months after his  assignment, he was arrested on suspicion of espionage.  He openly expressed anti-war views.  Cummings spoke of his lack of hatred for the Germans. He spent 3 1/2 months in a military detention camp in France.

His religious views per Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E._E._Cummings :

“Born into a Unitarian family.  Cummings exhibited transcendental leanings his entire life. As he grew in maturity and age, Cummings moved more toward an “I, Thou” relationship with his God.” Cummings “also prayed for strength to be his essential self (‘may I be I is the only prayer–not may I be great or good or beautiful or wise or strong’), and for relief of spirit in times of depression (‘almighty God! I thank thee for my soul; & may I never die spiritually into a mere mind through disease of loneliness’).”

i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

Some quotes by Cummings:

“Always the beautiful answer who asks a more beautiful question.”

“I imagine that yes is the only living thing.”

“I would rather learn from one bird how to sing than to teach 10,000 stars how not to dance.”

“If a poet is anybody, he is somebody to whom things made matter very little – somebody who is obsessed by Making.”

And of course my two favorites, which I have posted before:

“The world is mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful.”

“The earth laughs in flowers.”