The Paintings of e.e. cummings

Sound #5 by e.e. cummings from Suny Brockport

NPR's site has a slide show , which accompanied a story today on the poet's paintings at SUNY Brockport. The college is asking wealthy supporters to "adopt" one of its 72 pieces by cummings so that it can be restored after being turned down three times for a grant from the National Foundation for the Arts. There's also a longer piece that was published in October 2007 in the Wall Street Journal, as well as an online gallery of all the works at the College's website. The National Academy of Poets has an exhibit including a biography, some of the poems and helpful links.

suppose... (VIII)

Life is an old man carrying flowers on his head.
young death sits in a cafe
smiling, a pierce of money held between
his thumb and first finger

(i say "will he buy flowers" to you
and "Death is young
life wears velour trousers

life totters, life has a beard" i
say to you who are silent.--"Do you see
Life? he is there and here,or that, or this
or nothing or an old man 3 thirds
asleep, on his head
flowers, always crying
to nobody something about les
roses les bluets
will He buy?
Les belles bottes--oh hear
, pas cheres")

and my love slowly answered I think so. But
I think I see someone else

there is a lady, whose name is Afterwards
she is sitting beside young death, is slender;
likes flowers.

Although cummings considered himself more of an artist than a poet initially, according to the WSJ piece, the paintings, while interesting, don't have the energy of the poems.