Skip to content

53 Interesting Facts About The Number 53: poem 53 by e.e. cummings (for Larry Levine)

October 4, 2015

18888082-mmmain

This year I am doing a weekly writing experiment about the number 53. This week’s interesting fact about the number 53 is the poem “53′ by e.e. cummings from his 1954 collection,  100 Selected Poems. 

I decided I wanted to find a poem to honor the life and work of Lawrence Levine who was shot by one of his students on October 1, 2015. This post is dedicated to Larry Levine, and to my colleagues at community colleges across the country who keep their hearts open in the wake of this tragedy.

Like Lawrence Levine, I am a community college teacher of writing who is a poet and loves the outdoors. Unlike Lawrence Levine, today I am alive while Larry is dead —killed by a student who shot his professor in their classroom as well as a number of his classmates before dying of a self-inflicted gun shot.

I chose this poem after looking at verses and poems numbered or titled 53 including ones from Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman before selecting this one by e.e. cummings:

may my heart always be open to little
birds who are the secrets of living
whatever they sing is better than to know
and if men should not hear them men are old

may my mind stroll about hungry
and fearless and thirsty and supple
for even if it’s sunday may i be wrong
for whenever men are right they are not young

and may myself do nothing usefully
and love yourself so more than truly
there’s never been quite such a fool who could fail
pulling all the sky over him with one smile

“53” by E.E. Cummings, from 100 Selected Poems. © Grove Press, 1954 as posted on The Writer’s Almanac.

The event of October 1, 2015 weighs heavily on my mind and questions flood my mind. During this time, may I keep “my heart always open to little birds who are the secrets of living” and as I let my mind stroll about, may I stay fearless in my teaching and for my students.

And may my colleagues also keep their hearts open to hearing the little birds…

Because Larry Levine was a fly fisherman, here is one of my favorite poems:

“Looking For Work”

by Raymond Carver from A New Path to the Waterfall

I’ve always wanted brook trout
for breakfast.

Suddenly, I find a new path
to the waterfall.

I begin to hurry.
Wake up,

my wife says,
you’re dreaming.

But when I try to rise,
the house tilts.

Who’s dreaming?
It’s noon, she says.

My new shoes wait by the door.
They are gleaming.

And because he is gone, here’s another Ray Carver poem for Larry Levine:

And did you get what
you wanted from this life, even so?
I did.
And what did you want?
To call myself beloved, to feel myself
beloved on the earth.

Advertisements
2 Comments leave one →
  1. Fran permalink
    October 4, 2015 4:55 pm

    Thank you, Gwendolyn. It is indeed tragic what we humans do to one another. Thankfully, a heavy heart can be lifted by such beautiful words.

  2. October 4, 2015 5:01 pm

    Thanks Fran. Poetry– it was what I needed to read on this rainy day.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Jenny True

An excruciatingly personal food blog

foodwineclick

When food and wine click!

The Flavor of Grace

Helene Kremer's The Flavor of Grace

Hot Grieving MILF

I Believe in Magic

The Swirling Dervish

Wine Stories, Food Pairings, and Life Adventures

ENOFYLZ Wine Blog

Living La Vida Vino!

Dracaena Wines

Our Wines + Your Moments = Great Memories

L'OCCASION

a reason for wine

OkieWineGirl

A Wine Drinker Rambling about Wine

Outlaw Soaps: Exciting soaps for adventurous people.

Exciting soaps for adventurous people

Drifting Through

Welcome to the inner workings of my mind

Quartz

Quartz is a digitally native news outlet for the new global economy.

Sonya Huber

books, essays, etc.

THE GRAPE BELT

Drinking, Thinking, Cooking, Eating, Reading, Writing, Traveling, Talking ~ The Essentials of the Wine Life ~

The Weekly Sift

making sense of the news one week at a time

poor mexican gone

Yesterday's stories shed light on the way forward

ROCKIN RED BLOG

A Song in Every Glass

Cindy Ross

Author | Speaker

trailtraveler

Get your copy of Mile 445 today at Amazon.com!

www.KamalaThompson.com

"Where Business Meets Humanity"

Laura Grace Weldon

Free Range Learning, Creative Living, Gentle Encouragement, Big Questions, Poetry, Occasional Drollery

From Insults To Respect

A Guide To Anger And Conflict Resolution

WES CHYRCHEL

Business Coach · Early Stage Advisor

Burners.Me: Me, Burners and The Man

Where our opinions, Burner culture, and Burning Man come together

Traveling Wine Chick

Curator of Extraordinary Lifestyle Experiences

L'esprit de Vin

A wine blog with food for thought...

The Wine Wankers

G’day, you’re at the best wine blog ever! We're all about wine; without the wankery.

Wine Verbiage

verbiage about wine & life

Small Epiphanies

A BLOG BY G.P. WAYNE

Paul reflects therapeutically

Thoughts about writing about thinking

Myth Girl

"Follow Your Bliss."

the drunken cyclist

I have three passions: wine, cycling, travel, family, and math.

Winehiker Witiculture

Hike. Wine. Repeat! An exploration of life's vinoambulocentricities.

Gabe Feathers McGee

poetry, stories, puffnstuff

New Earth Heartbeat

Breathing with the Heart of the Earth

DEAR HUMAN

These letters are written to remind you just how much you matter, just how important you are, and just how beautiful the gift of life as a human is.

SAHMmelier

Stay at home mom, lover of wine

Talk-A-Vino

Wine, food and life

The Mind's Eye Photo Workshops

Don't just take photos - Make them.

%d bloggers like this: