i sing of Olaf glad and big
by E. E. Cummings 1894 – 1962
i sing of Olaf glad and big whose warmest heart recoiled at war: a conscientious object-or his wellbelovéd colonel(trig westpointer most succinctly bred) took erring Olaf soon in hand; but--though an host of overjoyed noncoms(first knocking on the head him)do through icy waters roll that helplessness which others stroke with brushes recently employed anent this muddy toiletbowl, while kindred intellects evoke allegiance per blunt instruments-- Olaf(being to all intents a corpse and wanting any rag upon what God unto him gave) responds,without getting annoyed “I will not kiss your fucking flag” straightway the silver bird looked grave (departing hurriedly to shave) but--though all kinds of officers (a yearning nation’s blueeyed pride) their passive prey did kick and curse until for wear their clarion voices and boots were much the worse, and egged the firstclassprivates on his rectum wickedly to tease by means of skilfully applied bayonets roasted hot with heat-- Olaf(upon what were once knees) does almost ceaselessly repeat “there is some shit I will not eat” our president,being of which assertions duly notified threw the yellowsonofabitch into a dungeon,where he died Christ(of His mercy infinite) i pray to see;and Olaf,too preponderatingly because unless statistics lie he was more brave than me:more blond than you.
Copyright 1931, © 1959, 1991 by the Trustees for E. E. Cummings Trust. Copyright © 1979 by George J. Firmage, from The Complete Poems: 1904-1962 by E. E. Cummings. Reprinted by permission of Liveright Publishing Corporation. All rights reserved.