The Cummings concluding couplet is the best part of the poem for me, Max. Maybe silence can mould strangeness and 'glassy darkness' : crying in the dark, I presume. But I get lost at 'my once more illustrious arms'. The Kees one is a spookier beast. Thanks, (I think), for sharing, Bill > On 31 Jan 2015, at 6:09 am, Max Richards <[log in to unmask]> wrote: > > Reviewing a new book on The Sonnets of Shaks, > Glyn Maxwell > http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/01/books/review/ideas-of-order-by-neil-l-rudenstine.html?emc=edit_bk_20150130&nl=books&nlid=22180501 > remarks: > In the sonnets, Shakespeare’s incomparable awareness and capacity for expression has a physical effect. Like the sun at its zenith it casts no shadows, makes no weather. The last couplets of two great modern sonnets — E. E. Cummings’s “turning from the tremendous lie of sleep / i watch the roses of the day grow deep” and Weldon Kees’s “These speculations sour in the sun. / I have no daughter. I desire none” — make the sound of a guessable soul in a seeable place, fading into a spot of time. Someone is there. > Struck by this from Maxwell, I have looked out these two sonnets he fancies, and here they are now…(still digesting them so not adding my own comment)… > (hoping transmission doesn’t wreck their layout. Max) > First the cummings, then the Kees > It Is At Moments After I Have Dreamed > it is at moments after i have dreamed > of the rare entertainment of your eyes, > when(being fool to fancy)i have deemed > > with your peculiar mouth my heart made wise; > at moments when the glassy darkness holds > > the genuine apparition of your smile > (it was through tears always)and silence moulds > such strangeness as was mine a little while; > > moments when my once more illustrious arms > are filled with fascination, when my breast > wears the intolerant brightness of your charms: > > one pierced moment whiter than the rest > > —turning from the tremendous lie of sleep > i watch the roses of the day grow deep. > > For My Daughter > BY WELDON KEES > Looking into my daughter’s eyes I read > Beneath the innocence of morning flesh > Concealed, hintings of death she does not heed. > Coldest of winds have blown this hair, and mesh > Of seaweed snarled these miniatures of hands; > The night’s slow poison, tolerant and bland, > Has moved her blood. Parched years that I have seen > That may be hers appear: foul, lingering > Death in certain war, the slim legs green. > Or, fed on hate, she relishes the sting > Of others’ agony; perhaps the cruel > Bride of a syphilitic or a fool. > These speculations sour in the sun. > I have no daughter. I desire none.