Small Hands

Brianna Colburn, my dear friend (and Waxing Poetic’s official poet), performed a sublime reading of one of my most favorite poems during dessert one evening at a small dinner party I was hosting.  Her tender voice, along with the empty space of the most beautiful pauses, echoed the frailty so beautifully rendered here by E.E. Cummings.  The metaphor of small acts and small ways as transformative and powerful… like many, many small drops of rain…  always keeps me conscious of the beauty and potency of the tiny and true.

 

somewhere i have never traveled, gladly beyond

any experience, your eyes have their silence:

in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,

or which i cannot touch because they are too near

 

your slightest look easily will unclose me

though i have closed myself as fingers,

you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens

(touching skilfully, mysteriously) her first rose

 

or if your wish be to close me, i and

my life will shut very beautifully, suddenly,

as when the heart of this flower imagines

the snow carefully everywhere descending;

 

nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals

the power of your intense fragility: whose texture

compels me with the colour of its countries,

rendering death and forever with each breathing

 

(i do not know what it is about you that closes

and opens;only something in me understands

the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)

nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands

E.E.Cummings

 

You can also find this beautiful poem in Woody Allen’s “Hannah and Her Sisters”… a “wooing” gift (oldest trick in the book I think!) from Michael Caine to his sister-in-law, with whom he is in love:

 

With love,

Patti

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