i thank you God for most this amazing

i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky;and for everything
wich is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun’s birthday;this is the birth
day of life and love and wings:and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any-lifted from the no
of all nothing-human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

Analysis, meaning and summary of the poem by

42 Comments

  1. Tinystinabeana says:

    I feel the poem is simply a declaration of thankfulness and acceptance of a truth he discovered(the existance of a supernatural Non-dependant being ). Which is obviously proven through the senses.

  2. Amy Chow says:

    well mates this was chappy

  3. Tom says:

    No, you are definetely not naive…I think we still have time to change and preserve this beautiful planet we live on… if we all work together and Thank God for this most amazing…

  4. Kathy says:

    I love this poem after nearly 40 years. I read it as chaplain at Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio around 1968…I was relieved of my duties. Guess it didn’t sound like The Lord’s Prayer.

  5. Amanda says:

    the first staff of this poem IS MY TATTOO!

    I LOVE IT IT’S ACROSS MY FOOT!
    reminds me to count my blessings in a way.

  6. Nate says:

    We performed Whitacre’s setting of this poem at the ACDA choral festival in Columbia, SC. It’s a gorgeous poem. Cummings’s unique syntax and word juxtapositions blending with Whitacre’s tight chord movements sends chills down my spine. We also sang “hope, faith, life, love” by Whitacre based on a cummings poem. The songs were performed as part of a concert entitled “I Share Creation,” a celebration of life. I can think of no more fitting poem than “i thank You God.”

  7. Brianna says:

    I like how he described the objects better instead of saying the trees are green and the skies are blue, instead he said the greenly sprits of trees and the blue true dream of the sky.

  8. Shanna says:

    I just sang this poem (the gwyneth walker arrangement) in All-State and fell in love with the words. It also amazes me that so many other people fell in love with this poem through singing it or hearing it. Music truly affects the soul, especially combined with poetry as outstanding as this is!

  9. Darian says:

    This is an absolutely lovely poem and for anyone who cannot bring themselves to appreciate it I highly suggest listening to Eric Whitacre’s “I Thank You God For Most This Amazing Day” and hear how lovely this poem REALLY is. And yes this version is 1,000,000x better than the gwyneth walker version(yes im serious).

  10. Alfred Forino says:

    this poem makes me feel connected to generations past and future. when i was 11 my mom died. years later one of her friends sent me this poem when i graduated from college. what a wonderful way of saying that her legacy continued through me. i have kept the poem posted at my workplace for years, and this saturday, when i marry my husband, it will be one of the readings at our ceremony.

  11. Naomi says:

    bits of this poem i had taped to my bedside lamp base for many months.

    i would wake & fall asleep to read
    the pure
    spontaneous
    &natural message this poem exudes in its very simplicity & bountifulness !!!

    the birthday of wings! the gay great happening
    illimitably
    earth?!?

    the earth changes with time.. i think we still have time to change it for the better & hold on to what is beautiful& fresh. forgive me should i sound naive here… this poem always gives one a kick in the right direction, i think.

  12. Arleas says:

    I think this poem is weird. Yeah.

  13. Jack says:

    This was the first poem that i ever memorized by e. e. cummings. I decided once that i would recite it instead of grace before a meal. However, before i got very far, I could sense that the others were really hungry and somewhat impatient, so I ended the poem rather abruptly. Unfortunately, I was at the part that says: “i who have died am alive again”

  14. Amy says:

    I think this poem is beautiful.I don’t really enjoy e e cummings poetry but this is one i am very fond of. I really enjoy the finish of this poem and i think it is ended beautifully.

  15. Steve says:

    Hey, this is one of the poems I read to my girlfriend, who is now my wife! Fellas, take note!

  16. laura says:

    My high school all girls choir (which I am apart of) is singing the Gwyneth Walker version of this song. Amazing, simply beautiful. I get goosebumps just listening to the words.

  17. Tyler says:

    This poem is so “goody” that it just makes me want to throw up. I also hate ho E.E. Cummings uses the freaking liwer case letters. It drives me crazy. Does anyone agree?

  18. Roberto says:

    i can so relate to how cummings must have been amazed when seeing the world as God’s creation and being in awe of Him.

    inside limbs turn toward sun
    and neck unravels to see your shine
    now i think i’ll drink your Light
    Bless me with your smile

  19. Amanda says:

    One of the first things I noticed about this poem is that the only words that are capitalized in the whole poem are “God” and “You”. Even the title contains only one capitalized word, “God”. This serves to make God stand out as being superior and mighty. This poem just lifts my spirits every time!

  20. tony farrell says:

    The poem is used as the focal point of a contemporary living sculpture by Mitch Ryerson close by eec’s grave in Forest Hills Cemetery in Boston Ma. The poem is stamped on copper seat inside a carved out sugar maple tree. A space has been cut inside where a copy of eec’s poetry is left to catch the careful visitor. In such a setting the poem from a sequence- “Religous Leanings” inspires. Three other poems by eec are close by, painted onto pinewood planks, and you climb a gentle slope to read them.
    I discovered these on Christmas Day 2005. Appropriate themes of life, light and love.

  21. Amy says:

    I just found this discussion and even though it seems it’s been mostly over for a couple of weeks, I have to add to it. I love the way that cummings’ creative use of turning adjectives to adverbs (leaping greenly) takes “alive” to a new dimension… also that things can _be_ “yes”… I feel like what this poem evokes, especially in the last two stanzas, is that there is a kind of alive that is _more_ alive than the somewhat deadened everyday that we go through a lot of times. Being close to God helps us feel that kind of alive; it is both a heightening of senses and maybe even an awakening of senses that aren’t usually used–the ears of our ears and the eyes of our eyes. I love that closeness to God is both humbling and exalting at the same time, and I love that e.e. cummings gives that idea beautiful wings in this poem.

  22. ellen b atl says:

    Happy Thanksgiving 2005!!

  23. Tampa Bay John says:

    The capitalization and lack of in the first line evoke humility in relation to God’s grandeur. The four sections of the poem bring me to 1) gratitude, 2) joy, 3) faith and 4) wisdom. When read during meditation, this poem can launch me into another dimension. Very nice.

  24. Jane Newkirk says:

    I woke this morning thinking of this poem on this most amazing day.
    I love how cummings expressed God without defining God.
    It’s like a prayer — private, comforting, full of joy and gratitude.
    Thank you e.e.

  25. caroline says:

    My husband and I chose this poem to be read at our wedding. It was an outdoor wedding by the water at a church camp we both attended as children. It was a beautiful spring day and it felt like we were living the poem in that moment.

  26. Rebecca says:

    This poem is so beautiful; it manages to express pure joy, pure gratitude. Brand New Day

  27. Sarah Montgomery says:

    My husband has designed a sweet, funky and whimsical studio for me next to our house. Looking for some inspirational words to be a part of the studio I remembered this beautiful, uplifting poem. We have re-created the first stanza as a 3-dimensional frieze of 8 inch letters to be installed under the roof line, wrapping all around the building. I hope ee enjoys it.

  28. Famke says:

    Being grateful can be seen as reestablishing the connectedness with our environment and ourselves. What are we without that connection?

  29. Josh says:

    This peom has a really vivid image of a brand new day. This poem can help you realize how lucky we are to wake up everyday with the sun in the sky and the wind in our face. The one thing that worries me is that we are destroying our earth and one day we will not be able to wake up to this dream.

  30. Zanne says:

    Salam aleikum everyone,
    This poem makes me soar. Every dawn after I pray I read a bit of Quran, and then this poem. This is maybe unorthodox but ee cummings really knew what he was talking about!

  31. Denise says:

    This poem is no doubt most lovely but it could also be considered most biblical. It reminds me of Romans 1:20
    ” For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities-his eternal power and divine nature-have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.”

    What I got from this poem was that e.e. cummings caught a glimpse of the Living God through creation, and it was a profound experience for him…evidence that pointed him to biblical truth.

  32. Seana Anderson says:

    I am going to become ordained as an Interfaith Minister in June 2005 through One Spirit Interfaith Seminary in New York City. Each month this year we must develop a ceremony (baby blessing, seasonal ritual, marriage, civil union, memorial, funeral service). I did a Thanksgiving Service and the poem that immediately sprung to mind from my college days was this one. Rather than having a homily or talk on gratitude, I chose to read this poem, have people meditate on those things in the past year (whether joyful or sorrowful) that they were thankful for this year, share them, along with bread and sing. I couldn’t have done anything better to express the feeling of Thanksgiving than this poem. Thank you ee.

  33. Brandon says:

    I am currently a senior in hour high school choir (Northwestern Troubadours, Northwestern High School, Rock Hill, SC) and we are currently in the process of learning and performing this song for competition and spring show. I discovered Eric Whitacre’s music only 3 years ago with his work Water Night. Since then I have been in love with his music, as his ability to paint this mental beautiful picture in your mind and help you FEEL and be a PART of the MUSIC. Then just this past fall i have come better to know the work of e.e. cummings. Both of the works themselves are almost beyond words; however, being a spiritual person i feel the best way to describe it is “God-inspired” in which case, is truly magnificent. I myself love the arts, especially music. I feel a world and life without music would be boring and pointless. I don’t know why I’m writing so much but I just found it amazing to see so many had done the piece that I’m currently working on with my fellow classmates. This ‘prayer’ serves as the perfect inspiration for me, and just the thought that I get to work on producing this beautiful piece of music for God and others, during 2nd block at school, makes me want to go to school. I agree with all of you, two thumbs up and three cheers for both Whitacre and cummings!!!

  34. Ken Buhr says:

    The artist John August Swanson uses the whole text of E.E.Cummings’ “i thank You God for this most amazing” as part of the content of a print artwork. John works with vibrant colors, often using about 50 prints of different colors for his works. I have a framed copy in my office, together with copies of the poem for this who want one.

  35. Tom says:

    A fine SSATTB musical setting was composed by Elliot Z. Levine of the Western Wind Ensemble. This snappy setting uses backbeats and interwoven voicings to communicate the mode and ideas of the poem. The tune sticks in your head. My choral group is performing it this spring. CD or score can be obtained from http://www.westernwind.org.

  36. Lyn says:

    This is a most beautiful poem. I know of two recordings that are easy to find- one of the whitacre setting is found on the cd Eric Whitacre-Complete A Cappella works recorded by BYU Chamber choir.
    The SSA Gwenyth Walker setting can be found here-
    http://www.gwynethwalker.com/ithankyo.html

  37. rabbi tsurah august says:

    this poem has hung over my desk for over 14 years; it lifts my heart each time I read it, say it, think it. It is the “gift” I am giving to my dearest friends, on the eve of my moving across the country. Are the musical settings on tape or disk?

  38. Gael says:

    I’ve never had the privilage to sing this, but I do have a little story about this poem. In high school, every morning a different student was selected to read our morning prayer over the intercom. Each student was allowed to select their own prayer. Most students just went with the “common” prayers, but not me! I chose to read “i thank you God” by ee cummings. Boy, did I get weird looks afterwards. But this poem moved me; I so totally understood what he was saying. I guess to appreciate this as a prayer, one must be in touch with their spiritual side.

  39. Becca says:

    I have sang the SSA Gwyneth Walker arr. Its wonderful! I am looking to arrange the text myself.

  40. Beth says:

    There are actually at least 14 choral settings of this poem. In addition to Eric Whitacre’s setting, Gwyneth Walker’s and Lloyd Pfautsch’s are also frequently performed.

  41. Melinda says:

    How funny, I was just listening to Eric Whitacre’s rendition of this poem. It’s so beautiful. It gets stuck in my head so often. I agree, Whitacre most definitely has done this poem justice. Three cheers for e. e. cummings and Eric Whitacre!

  42. Luke says:

    Mike, the SATB choir setting may have been an arrangement by Eric Whitacre. His music truly does the poetry justice. Like you, I start many days with the words to this poem in my mind. I had the privelege of singing the piece under the direction of Eric Whitacre himself, and all I can say is… e.e. cummings would surely be anazed at what has been done with his work.

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