[in Just-] by E. E. Cummings

in Just-
spring          when the world is mud-
luscious the little
lame balloonman
whistles          far          and wee
and eddieandbill come
running from marbles and
piracies and it’s
spring
when the world is puddle-wonderful
the queer
old balloonman whistles
far          and             wee
and bettyandisbel come dancing
from hop-scotch and jump-rope and
it’s
spring
and
         the
                  goat-footed
balloonMan          whistles
far
and
wee

On this 70 degree day in Chicago, spring arrived in just the right time for the start of our break, and in just the right time for me to give my students one day of reading and writing poetry to welcome spring.  We read [in Just-] and then went outside to write poems in celebration of spring.  My students were genuinely excited, if not to be writing poetry, at least to be spending time outdoors on this lovely, but prematurely warm, day.  One of my classes actually took to this notion of writing as welcome to spring with some passion, and eagerly shared bits and pieces of in process poems with me.  At the end of the class period, we rimmed the playground, dewy wood chips under our feet, and read the poems written only moments before.  Some were silly, some rhymed, some were ironic, but all contained a bit of Cummings’ playful excitement and childlike celebration of spring. We snapped our fingers in appreciation as each poem came to its close.

Spring has arrived [In just-] the nick of time.

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2 Responses to [in Just-] by E. E. Cummings

  1. I love “puddle-wonderful” — in theory, at least! Enjoy your break. Our isn’t until April, when winter will probably be back.

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