Friday, February 25, 2005

knitspotting in e.e. cummings 

now two old ladies sit peacefully knitting,
and their names are sometimes and always

"i can't understand what life could have seen in him" stitch
-counting always severely remarks;and her sister(suppress-
ing a yawn)counters "o i don't know;death's rather attractive"
—"attractive!why how can you say such a thing?when i think
of my poor dear husband"—"now don't be absurd:what i said was
'rather attractive',my dear;and you know very well that
never was very much more than attractive,never was

stunning"(a crash. Both jump)"good
heavens!" always exclaims "what
was that?"—"well here comes your daughter"
soothes sometimes;at which

death's pretty young wife enters;wringing her hands,and wailing
"that terrible child!"—"what"(sometimes and always together
cry)"now?"—"my doll:my beautiful doll;the very
first doll you gave me, mother(when i could scarcely
walk)with the eyes that opened and shut(you remember:
don't you,auntie;we called her love)and i've treasured
her all these years,and today i went through a closet
looking for something;and opened a box, and there she
lay:and when he saw her, he begged me to let him
hold her;just once:and i told him "mankind,be careful;
she's terribly fragile:don't break her,or mother'll be angry'"

and then(except for
the clicking of needles)there was silence


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