Tuesday, April 1, 2014

e. e. cummings: "i am a little church"

i am a little church (no great cathedral)
far from the splendor and squalor
of hurrying cities—i do not worry if briefer days grow briefest,
i am not sorry when sun and rain make april

my life is the life of the reaper and the sower;
my prayers are the prayers of earth's own clumsily striving
(finding and losing and laughing and crying) children
whose any sadness or joy is my grief or my gladness

around me surges a miracle of unceasing
birth and glory and death and resurrection:
over my sleeping self float flaming symbols
of hope, and i wake to a perfect patience of mountains

I am a little church (far from the frantic
world with its rapture and anguish) at peace with nature
—i do not worry if longer nights grow longest;
i am not sorry when silence becomes singing

winter by spring, I lift my diminutive spire to
merciful Him Whose only now is forever:
standing erect in the deathless truth of His presence
(welcoming humbly His light and proudly His darkness)

"i am a little church" by e. e. cummings, from E. E. Cummings: Complete Poems 1904-1962, edited by George James Firmage. © Liveright, 1994.

Photography credit: "Mountain Shrine, Yakushima, Kagoshima, Japan," by Rob Tilley (originally color).


  1. A beautiful poem, which I may have to commit to memory. Thank you for posting.


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