Pink flag

red-rag and pink-flag
by e e cummings

red-rag and pink-flag
blackshirt and brown
strut-mince and stink-brag
have all come to town

some like it shot
and some like it hung
and some like it in the twot
nine months young

About this poem:

e e cummings‘ satirical poem expresses his disregard for the political movements of the early 20th century. Communists (a red rag is a Communist newspaper) and the gay subculture were under fire from fascists in Italy and Germany. He doesn’t mince words about what he sees as the vulgar sexiness of people getting their kicks out of marching into town strutting their stuff, bragging, and then shooting and hanging. Twot/twat is a vulgar term for a woman’s genitals. e e cummings was an apolitical romantic, interested in love, sex and rebirth.

The second verse is a play on a well-known nursery rhyme:

Pease porridge hot, pease porridge cold,
Pease porridge in the pot, nine days old;
Some like it hot, some like it cold,
Some like it in the pot, nine days old.

e e cummings poetry source:
Picture: Pink flag is a record by The Wire

Robert Frost: Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.


About this poem:

“Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” was Frost’s favorite of his own poems. In a letter to Louis Untermeyer he called it “my best bid for remembrance.” On “the darkest evening of the year”, the winter solstice (21 December), he pauses to enjoy the “world of the woods”, with its peace and solitude, which exists side by side with that other “world of people and social obligations”. Both worlds have claims on the poet, are “established and balanced“. A metaphysical interpretation of the poem is that the poet is in fact thinking of death, which doesn’t seem menacing in this “lovely, dark and deep” setting; but he still has the rest of his life to live – the “miles to go before I sleep”. It reminds me of the many, many wonderful walks I have had in the woods in winter, the tranquility and joy that engulf me every year around this time.

Over the holidays I wish you, dear reader, a peaceful and restful break from all of those “miles” you have gone and plan to go.

e e cummings: now is a ship

alex3, x-xohen,
now is a ship

which captain am
sails out of sleep

steering for dream

“ee cummings is one of my most loved poets, and this poem, almost a haiku, suggests much about that other identity we carry in us and which life invites us to discover. Conventionally it would be said that we need to sail out of sleep to find “reality”, not dreams, and conventionally “I” should be the captain of “my” ship – but not for ee – seeing, as always, way beyond the seeming horizon.”  Noah Pikes from Switzerland
Poem and comment found on poetry site
photo: alex3, x-cohen,


Norman Silver: in the old old days
(from Age, Sex, Location, Colchester: tXt cafe, 2006)

in the old old days
b4 there were mobile fones
how cud a boy eva meet
a person of the oppsite gender

& even if they cud get acquainted
wivout a mobile fone
how cud they ch@
each uvver up

& even if they cud natter
wivout a mobile fone
how cud they stay in touch
if they were in diffrent classes

& even if they could communic8
wivout a mobile fone
how cud they flirt
or get 2 kno each uvver

& even if they cud get close
wivout a mobile fone
how cud they say gudnight

Norman Silver: txt commandments

1. u shall luv ur mobil fone with all ur hart
2. u & ur fone shall neva be             apart
3. u shall nt lust aftr ur neibrs fone nor thiev
4. u shall b prepard @ all times 2 tXt & 2 recv
5. u shall use LOL & othr acronyms in conversatns
6. u shall be zappy with ur ast*r*sks & exc!matns!!
7. u shall abbrevi8 & rite words like theyr sed
8. u shall nt speak 2 sum1 face2face if u cn msg em insted
9. u shall nt shout with capitls XEPT IN DIRE EMERGNCY +
10. u shall nt consult a ninglish dictnry

Poetry quoted by David Crystal in
Txtng. The Gr8 Db8, Oxford University Press 2008

David Crystal, linguistics professor, writes: “Texting has added a new dimension to language use, indeed, but its long-term impact on the already existing varieties of language is likely to be negligible. It is not a bad thing.” My favorite lines from this book are taken from a poem by Julia Bird:

it splits my @oms
wen he :-)s @ me.

Buy this book! And read more about it in November @Spotlight.