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Featured Poem: “i thank You God for most this amazing” by E. E. Cummings

Written by Rachael Norris, 30th May 2022

Today’s Featured Poem is "i thank You God for most this amazing" by E. E. Cummings read by The Reader's Teaching and Learning Lead, Sue.

Just recently we paid a long-promised visit to the mother of a friend of ours. It had been many years since we’d seen her and, together with her three children, we spent the afternoon in her lovely garden followed by a long evening catching up on news and reminiscing about old times, laughing – and crying a little – as we looked back, but also forward, especially to her granddaughter’s wedding in June.

There was no special occasion for our visit, that day, and maybe that’s why it felt unexpectedly celebratory. And something more than that – restorative, perhaps. I woke up the following morning feeling quite rejuvenated, as if I had slipped back in time forty years, and as we took our leave from the 93 year-old Barbara that morning she beamed, saying she had gone to bed the previous night feeling ‘glad to be alive’.

This poem by E E Cummings captures that feeling so well, I think, that out of the blue feeling – perhaps more an out of the darkness, or doubt, feeling, here – of seeing things afresh.

I can remember, years ago, shying away from Cummings’s poems with the lack, or odd placing, of punctuation, strange word order and unconventional use of capital letters. But, now, I relish taking them to shared reading groups, with their boundless possibilities to explore. And this particular poem – a joy to read aloud! - somehow reminds me to stay open to those possibilities, in poetry, and beyond.


"i thank You God for this amazing"

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

(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 any—lifted from the no
of all nothing—human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

E. E. Cummings

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