my father moved through dooms of love

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my father moved through dooms of love
through sames of am through haves of give,
singing each morning out of each night
my father moved through depths of height

this motionless forgetful where
turned at his glance to shining here;
that if(so timid air is firm)
under his eyes would stir and squirm

newly as from unburied which
floats the first who,his april touch
drove sleeping selves to swarm their fates
woke dreamers to their ghostly roots

and should some why completely weep
my father’s fingers brought her sleep:
vainly no smallest voice might cry
for he could feel the mountains grow.

Lifting the valleys of the sea
my father moved through griefs of joy;
praising a forehead called the moon
singing desire into begin

joy was his song and joy so pure
a heart of star by him could steer
and pure so now and now so yes
the wrists of twilight would rejoice

keen as midsummer’s keen beyond
conceiving mind of sun will stand,
so strictly(over utmost him
so hugely) stood my father’s dream

his flesh was flesh his blood was blood:
no hungry man but wished him food;
no cripple wouldn’t creep one mile
uphill to only see him smile.

Scorning the Pomp of must and shall
my father moved through dooms of feel;
his anger was as right as rain
his pity was as green as grain

septembering arms of year extend
yes humbly wealth to foe and friend
than he to foolish and to wise
offered immeasurable is

proudly and(by octobering flame
beckoned)as earth will downward climb,
so naked for immortal work
his shoulders marched against the dark

his sorrow was as true as bread:
no liar looked him in the head;
if every friend became his foe
he’d laugh and build a world with snow.

My father moved through theys of we,
singing each new leaf out of each tree
(and every child was sure that spring
danced when she heard my father sing)

then let men kill which cannot share,
let blood and flesh be mud and mire,
scheming imagine,passion willed,
freedom a drug that’s bought and sold

giving to steal and cruel kind,
a heart to fear,to doubt a mind,
to differ a disease of same,
conform the pinnacle of am

though dull were all we taste as bright,
bitter all utterly things sweet,
maggoty minus and dumb death
all we inherit,all bequeath

and nothing quite so least as truth
–i say though hate were why men breathe–
because my Father lived his soul
love is the whole and more than all

10 Comments

  1. kengeleharibuse says:

    cummings deifies his father thru this poetic vision of
    our Father. It is a masterpiece of language and imagery. The dichotomies of doom and love, depths and
    heights speak to us of the omniscience of God the father, and the godliness (to children) of all fathers.

  2. ReRe says:

    My father moved through theys of we,
    singing each new leaf out of each tree
    (and every child was sure that spring
    danced when she heard my father sing)

    can someone explaine this stanza for me cause I have to translate it to my language but first I have to understand each word such as “theys”?I look for this word but unfortunatly I could not find any thing. please can someone do this for me as soon as possible.I realy appreciate that:)

  3. MAUREEN DOHERTY MC GOWAN says:

    This poem lives in my subconscious, rising to the surface every now and then so that I must seek it and re-read it for its pure beauty. My two favorite stanzas of the poem are: ‘And should some why completely weep / my father’s fingers brought her sleep./Vainly no smallest voice might cry / for he could fee the mountains grow.” And “Then let men kill which cannot share…though dull were all we taste as bright /bitter all utterly things sweet, maggoty minus and dumb death all we inhereit, all bequesth, and nothing quite so least as truth – i say though hate were why men breathe, because my Father lived his soul, love is the whole and more than all.” I think the capitalization of “Father” at the end is merely intended to honor his earthly father, as a final tribute. I feel such deep love for my own father, whenever I think of this poem. Cummings does “feeling” better than any other poet I know. I am so thankful that he lived and wrote as he did. – Maureen McGowan

  4. Deborah Bancroft says:

    >While it is wonderful for people to associate their own fathers with the
    imagery in this poem, it seems to me that cummings likely intended a more
    deistic interpretation.

    Rather than underscoring the distinction, I think it’s more useful to interpretation to note the connection — people think of their own fathers, that’s just true, and they do so because of the “fatherly” way cummings presents the subject, whether the poet was thinking of his own father or God the Father (of both, which I think is a more interesting thing to consider!)

  5. sarah says:

    this poem was acctually written for cummings’ father after he passed away in a car accident, so if you didnt know that, it helps to truly understand the poem.

  6. Jane says:

    I have read a book by my favorite author Mary Downing Hahn and she used this poem…she uesd it in a very good way to discribe what had happend to a charcter.

  7. Lindsey says:

    While it is wonderful for people to associate their own fathers with the imagery in this poem, it seems to me that cummings likely intended a more deistic interpretation. Many elements (including the multiple creation metaphors and the capitalization in the final stanza of the word “Father”) suggest that, more than an ode to a mortal father, this is a hymn about an eternally existent universal Father breathing redemption and reconciliation into the world.

  8. DAwn says:

    i have just finished reading ‘tuesdays with morrie’written by Mitch Albom. This poem was quoted in the book, so I looked it up to read the whole thing.I feel it is my father too, who is no longer with me. I loved it.

  9. Jerome Boyle says:

    The poem develops a tension through the use of contrasts. Doom (judgement) and love which is nonjudgmental are set over agains one another to suggest a reality that is between the two. “A heart to fear, to doubt a mind” suggests a dichotomy on which either side is unpleasant. But having used a dynamic tension throughout the poem, cummings resolves the matter with the final line “love is the whole and more than all.”

  10. Jeff says:

    If my children were to write anything as wonderful in my regard,I would have lived a worthy life.

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