(Poem #214) Where's Madge then,
Where's Madge then, Madge and her men? buried with Alice in her hair, (but if you ask the rain he'll not tell where.) beauty makes terms with time and his worms, when loveliness says sweetly Yes to wind and cold; and how much earth is Madge worth? Inquire of the flower that sways in the autumn she will never guess. but i know my heart fell dead before.
There is a certain quality to Cummings' poems that is at once elusive and unmistakable. Part of it does lie in the 'concrete verse' aspects; the irregular capitalization and indentation. However, that that is far from the whole story can be seen in today's poem, which is wholly free of such effects. The conversational tone, the phrases and images that hover deceptively on the edge of childishness, the deliberately simple rhymes all combine to make up a whole that is breathtakingly greater than the sum of its parts. It's hard to point to any one bit and say 'this is good because...', and yet the poem as a whole is wonderful, and has not a word out of place. For Cummings' biography etc, see poem #57 m.