little silent Christmas tree
you are so little
you are more like a flower
who found you in the green forest
and were you very sorry to come away?
see i will comfort you
because you smell so sweetly
i will kiss your cool bark
and hug you safe and tight
just as your mother would,
only don’t be afraid
look the spangles
that sleep all the year in a dark box
dreaming of being taken out and allowed to shine,
the balls the chains red and gold the fluffy threads,
put up your little arms
and i’ll give them all to you to hold
every finger shall have its ring
and there won’t be a single place dark or unhappy
then when you’re quite dressed
you’ll stand in the window for everyone to see
and how they’ll stare!
oh but you’ll be very proud
and my little sister and i will take hands
and looking up at our beautiful tree
we’ll dance and sing
This poem first appeared in The Dial, Vol. LXVIII, No. 1 (Jan. 1920).
It is now in the public domain.
Edward Estlin Cummings (1894 – 1962), better known by his initials--E. E.--was an American poet, author, playwright, and painter. Intrigued by poetry even as a child, he reputedly wrote a poem a day until he reached his twenties. Estlin earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Harvard, carving out a reputation early on as an avant-garde, experimental poet who took great liberties with grammar, punctuation, and words themselves. Even so, the public adored his work, and Cummings remains one of America’s best-known poets.
Lovely. I was just sent a wee Christmas tree with battery operated lights. The gift of a dear friend who took sympathy, because I miss my large artificial tree which has no room in my humble apartment now and for seven years. I did love my tree and now its successor.
Posted 12/18/2011 04:40 PM
cummings IS one of my favorite poets, yet I had never known of this poem till a few days ago when it was read at a poetry gathering. Thanks for posting it! Charming is the word.
Posted 12/18/2011 11:41 AM