‘IT MAY YET SANCTIFY SAVAGE SOULS’ … THE PLANET BRINGS YOU ONE OF THE BEST … plus … WHO AND WHAT WILL SHOW UP IN OUR ‘QUICKIES’ TODAY?
By DAN VALENTI
PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary
(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, MONDAY, APRIL 30, 2012) — Shut up, slow down, sit up, and enjoy. Poetry is not cod liver oil, though it is more beneficial. It may yet sanctify the savage souls, one at a time, and if but one, then a universe.
THE PLANET‘s Poetry Monday aims to bring a bit of refinement cloaked in the finest writing from all of history to a world that done got itself in one big, unthinking, unfeeling hurry.
Today, we present one of the greats from one of the greats.
e.e. cummings (born 1894 in Cambridge, Mass., died in 1962), no initial capitals, revolutionized modern verse with his groundbreaking rule-breaking of punctuation, format, and other poetic conventions. He produced one great novel, The Enormous Room, based on his experiences as a prisoner of war during World War I.
cummings’ literary experiments produced a license for violating the accepted norms, a largesse that far too many other (and far lesser) poets assumed for themselves. cummings used his freedom with brilliance. Too many others who followed used license as an excuse for incompetence. Good poetry is the greatest and rarest of all writing. Bad poetry is the worst and most abundant. We see the results today.
Of course, the infernal products of The Eternal Hurry — for example, texting — have eaten away at all forms of written discourse. Good writing is on the way out. That sad fact will keep those like THE PLANET healthily in business for another score of years, before it won’t matter anymore. By that time and long before it, we shall be on the Cooks, where anything we have to bestow will be bequeathed instantly and wordlessly.
Ladies and gentlemen, Edward Estlin Cummings:
—– 00 —–
I THANK YOU GOD FOR MOST THIS AMAZING
By e.e. cummings
i thank you God for most this amazing
day: for leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky:and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes
(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun’s birthday;this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings:and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)
how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing and — lifted from the no
of all nothing — human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?
(now the ears if my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)
QUICKIES FOR YOUR APPETIZERS
* LENOX BOARD FLAMES OUT ON CAR SHOW — The selectmen in Lenox have set an ominously bad precedent in awarding taxpayer dollars as upfront money to a promoter who will brings a British Car Show to town. When governments defy the standing economic model (in this case, capitalism) with political justifications, the public invariably loses. What, the promoter didn’t save $2,000 in advance costs for an event he knows he will be staging? Even worse is when local government subsidizes this bad planning with taxpayer dollars. Actions like this have turned Lenox into the chintzy joke that it has become among locals in Berkshire County.
* ‘CONTINGECY’ FUND NOT A GOOD SIGN — They did a half-assed job in the first place, and now, again, We The People will have to dig deep for repairs to the McKay Street garage in Pittsfield. My right honorable good friends on the city council OKd a $1.5 million package. This sum will be added to the $2 million already earmarked in city funds. The state kicks in another $3.5 million. How’s this for funny business, though? OCD Czarina Deanna Ruffer asked for and received $600 grand — S600,000 large — for a “contingency fund.” The “contingency fund” didn’t appear in the initial request for the dough. Gee, THE PLANET wonders, what sort of contingency would come up on an already over-budget construction job in the city of Pittsfield.
* ‘FIRST RESPONDER’ — Elections? RIght: You’re sick of them. You’re also sick of the usual herd of pols making the usual promises of reform, change, wonders, and cucumbers. That being the case doesn’t change the inexorable fact that elections are on the way. One note — In the race for Berkshire County registrar of deeds (an office now held by congressional candidate Andrea Nuciforo), former Pittsfield city clerk Jody Phillips became the first candidate to qualify for the ballot. Could be Phillips is used to this “first responder” stuff. Her main squeeze is acting fire chief Robert Czerwinski.
* FLUSHED WITH SUCCESS — The rumor is not true. When the city flushed its hydrants last week, rumors abounded that former treasurer David Kiley, former purchasing director Bob Tone, and insurance creative director Ed Caveny were washed out from an underground lair. THE PLANET has confirmed that there is no truth to the story. The three strange objects bore not the slightest resemblance to municipal rippoff.
* RENAISSANCE, ANYONE? — Don’t think things are bad in downtown Pittsfield. The KB Toys building and land, recently purchased by Lauren Publishing, is assessed at $5.4 million. Lauren got it for a steal, paying $1.1 million.
* WE LIKE — The Pittsfield City council’s approval of $500,000 in GE economic development funds to set up a pool of money for small businesses … Barry Clairmont‘s recusal from voting on the use of the half million … John Krol‘s questions to Mayor Bianchi over transparency on the matter … Dotties Coffee Shop … Joe Castoldi‘s skills at barbering, the best in town … the greens of spring … resistance to demolishing the former Plunkett School … the appointment of Donna Todd Rivers to the tourism board … Berkshire Health Systems’ sponsorship of a community-owned garden on Robbins Avenue … that school committee members Alf Barbalunga and Terry Kinnas opposed accepting a late application for the superintendent’s job … the lineups at Barrington Stage and the Berkshire Theater Festival … and … that there will be baseball at Wahconah Park this summer, as Pittsfield welcomes the Pittsfield Suns, a team in the collegiate summer league.
STAY CONTENT WITH VERSE, FOR NO MATTER WHAT YOU CONFRONT TODAY, IT WILL NOT BE WORSE FOR HAVING READ SUCH FAIR LINES, SO WISE, SO EFFECTIVE, AND SO GOOD FOR THE TIMES.
“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”
LOVE TO ALL.