Friday, December 03, 2021

Poetry Friday: Momentarily Liturgically Confused


I've been "momentarily liturgically confused" before. 

Several years ago (can we call it "several" when it was almost eleven years ago?) I posted about waking up on a March morning, seeing snow, and thinking for just a moment that it was Advent instead of Lent. A few years before that, I posted about another moment of similar confusion. Lately, I've been experiencing the same thing in a different liturgical season. It's Advent — but due to unseasonably warm temps here in the midwest, I'm still hearing robins in the morning. I keep thinking it's spring. So, I'm bringing you a spring poem because why not? The robins demand it. In its way, so does Advent, which is also a time of "changing everything carefully." 

Spring is like a perhaps hand
by e.e. cummings 


Spring is like a perhaps hand
(which comes carefully
out of Nowhere) arranging
a window, into which people look (while
people stare
arranging and changing placing
carefully there a strange
thing and a known thing here) and

changing everything carefully

(Read the rest here, at 


The round-up this week is being hosted by Michelle Kogan


jama said...

Thanks for the Cummings fix (he's my fave no matter the season). It was unseasonably warm yesterday; very confusing. No robins here, though . . . :)

Karen Eastlund said...

I love the ending "without breaking anything." Fun to have this diversion and I do like his greenly leaping poems. Thanks, and of course know that most of us are confused a good deal of time.

Carol Varsalona said...

Karen, the weather does confuse us these days. What season are we in, I wonder. Thank you for sharing the poem with us. The Spiritual Journey Thursday community wrote on the topic of Waiting with a Side of Hope about Advent. If you have time, I would love for you to add your insight about my thoughts( Have a wonderful weekend. I am hoping for springlike weather to finish my outdoor decorations.

Michelle Kogan said...

Wow, what a topsy-turvy poem, it does fit well with our temps that are yo-yoing back and forth, here in Chicago. And I'm for spring any time of year, at least I'll take it over winter–but it needs to be warmish and sunny, thanks Karen!

Heidi Mordhorst said...

Ooh I love this one...I've used it with kindergarteners in the past. I know what you mean about being liturgically confused by the effects of climate change. It's unsettling and also galvanizing, I hope. We must recognize our #blissonance--the bliss of an unexpected warm birdsong day and the dissonance of knowing it's not a good thing. Happy Advent, Karen.

Karen Edmisten said...

Jama, you're most welcome for the Cummings fix.
Karen, I love "greenly leaping" and thanks for the reassurance that I'm not alone in my confusion. :)
Carol, I can't wait to check out the link you included. Thanks.
Michelle, thanks for stopping in for the topsy-turviness, and thanks for hosting this week.
Heidi, my husband and I had a similar conversation yesterday. :(
But I'll end on a hopeful note, and second your observation that our knowledge can also be galvanizing. :)

Bridget Magee said...

I love me some e.e., Karen. Thanks for sharing his poem and your confusion...a universal feeling these days. :)

Mary Lee said...

Thanks for a new-to-me ee.

Rose Cappelli said...

Thanks for sharing the ee cummings poem. I was not familiar with that one!

author amok said...

I haven't read this poem in ages, Karen. Thank you for sharing it -- a little spring before the long, cold, winter rest.

skanny17 said...

So much to see and feel and think about in this world, to enjoy, to wonder and that last line about not breaking anything.....perhaps a mantra....let's not break hearts, minds, lives with our insensitivity. Let's carefully change as we go....and then see spring set the earth's rebirth..... and at this time maybe our own. Thanks for a post to ponder, Karen.
Janet Clare F.

laurasalas said...

Seasonal confusion! I enjoyed revisiting this poem. I'm not a big cummings fan--I always feel like I'm missing things, like he's too smart for me. But when the Poetry Sisters did poems inspired by cummings, I did a fall poem using this one as a template/mentor text! And it was one of my most fun poems to write, ever. So I really should explore cummings more, probably. (My fall poem is at