Poetry is Being – Not Doing

 I was given the following poem by ee cummings almost 30 years ago:

Poetry is being, not doing.

If you wish to follow,

    even at a distance,    

    the poet’s callling,

You’ve got to come out of the

meaurable doing universe into

the immeasuable house of being.

Nobdy else can be alive for you –

Nor can you be alive for anyone else. 

If you can take it – take it and be.

If you can’t – cheer up and go about

other people’s business and do or undo

til you drop.

e.e. cummings

Apparently someone created the poem from the text by ee cummings that follows:

ee cummings on poetry …so far as I am concerned, poetry and every other art was and is and forever will be strictly and distinctly a question of individuality…poetry is being, not doing. If you wish to follow, even at a distance, the poet’s calling (and here, as always, I speak from my own totally biased and entirely personal point of view) you’ve got to come out of the measurable doing universe into the immeasurable house of being…Nobody else can be alive for you; nor can you be alive for anybody else. Toms can be Dicks and Dicks can be Harrys, but none of them can ever be you. There’s the artist’s responsibility; and the most awful responsibility on earth. If you can take it, take it–and be. If you can’t, cheer up and go about other people’s business; and do (or undo) till you drop.

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