Cog, an abnormal Alphabet-CSE

Did Cog afford you wise options?

as freedom is a breakfastfood

by e. e. cummings

E.E. Cummings dressed in his First World War military
uniform. WWI was far more psychologically damaging
than the Second World War or, arguably, any other war since
because it was fought in packed trenches with little to no territorial
gains or losses as a result of the introduction of machine guns
and the blatant, constant use of chemical weapons, specifically
mustard gas. Near the end of the war, roaring, mammoth-like
tanks appeared on the battlefields, steamrolling barbwire
and plowing over trenches.  Even though the weaponry
mounted on the original tanks wasn't very effective,
the psychological effect upon morale was significant
in virtue of the loud rumble of their engines, their
seeming disregard for infantry fire, not to mention their
sheer size and the fact that most had never seen one before.
With enemy infantry charging behind the tanks, shielded,
the ensuing disarray was often enough to lead to an onslaught.
The nickname The War to End All Wars owes its existence
to the inhumane gruesomeness of the conflict.  In the end,
however, WWI wasn't won via territorial gains, but rather
by a flanking strategy that successfully cut-off the supply lines
pivotal to the survival of frontline troops of Germany and
the Austria-Hungary Empire.  Edward Estlin Cummings'
palpable zest and love of life is the result of having experienced
one of the most terrifying chapters in human history.  For more
information on the Era and its impact on Cumming's poetry,
read "since feeling is first" and the accompanying essay.

as freedom is a breakfastfood
or truth can live with right and wrong
or molehills are from mountains made
—long enough and just so long
will being pay the rent of seem
and genius please the talentgang
and water most encourage flame

as hatracks into peachtrees grow
or hopes dance best on bald men’s hair
and every finger is a toe
and any courage is a fear
—long enough and just so long
will the impure think all things pure
and hornets wail by children stung

or as the seeing are the blind
and robins never welcome spring
nor flatfolk prove their world is round
nor dingsters die at break of dong
and common’s rare and millstones float
—long enough and just so long
tomorrow will not be too late

worms are the words but joy’s the voice
down shall go which and up come who
breasts will be breasts thighs will be thighs
deeds cannot dream what dreams can do
—time is a tree(this life one leaf)
but love is the sky and i am for you
just so long and long enough


For a review of the background to the life, poetic style, and historical context that shaped E. E. Cummings' exceptional body of work, please read the brief essay immediately after the following poem—


You may also enjoy these other poems by Edward Estlin Cummings:

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