E. E. Cummings


i sing of Olaf glad and big


XXX

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.

Submitted: Monday, January 20, 2003

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Comments about this poem (i sing of Olaf glad and big by E. E. Cummings )

  • Rookie Jason Jett (2/8/2012 4:24:00 PM)

    It is funny, some 36 years ago...I remember this poem as Ode to Olaf...and the line...there is some shit I shall not eat! I cannot tell you how many times I have used that quote... when responding to something someone asks me to do that is stupid.... (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Rochelle Cashdan (5/14/2009 11:56:00 PM)

    This poem bowled me over when I read it on my own as a teenager and still does. (Report) Reply

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