e. e. cummings o’clock (kisskiss)

“A clock is a little machine that shuts us out from the wonder of time.” ~ Susan Glaspell

The sunlight claps the earth, and the moonbeams kiss the sea: what are all these kissings worth, if thou kiss not me?” ~ Percy Bysshe Shelley

Spring is practically here and love is in the air. Why not count the minutes with kisses? 🙂


there are so many tictoc
clocks everywhere telling people
what toctic time it is for
tictic instance five toc minutes toc
past six tic

Spring is not regulated and does
not get out of order nor do
its hands a little jerking move
over numbers slowly

                                      we do not
wind it up it has no weights
springs wheels inside of
its slender self no indeed dear
nothing of the kind.

(So,when kiss Spring comes
we'll kiss each kiss other on kiss the kiss
lips because tic clocks toc don't make
a toctic difference
to kisskiss you and to
kiss me)

~ from erotic poems by E.E. Cummings (W.W. Norton & Co., 2010)


How’s that for sweet seduction? 🙂

Indeed, Cummings makes a great case for unbridled passion — no regulated constraints, no measured monotony. Just bring on the sensuous delights, surprising, even sudden. For something this delicious, toss your clocks out the window. After all, love has a way of making time stand still.

As you probably know, Cummings wrote many poems celebrating spring and love, often defining one in terms of the other. I think of “O sweet spontaneous earth . . . thou answerst them only with spring,” “we’re alive,dear:it’s(kiss me now)spring!,” “springtime is lovetime and viva sweet love,” or stanzas like this one:

everywhere's here
(with a low high low
and the bird on the bough)
--we never we know
(so kiss me) shy sweet eagerly
most dear


So lyrical, so ebullient, his emotions (and words) refuse to be confined to the page via traditional forms. Playful, and oh so charming, could you refuse this dashing gentleman’s entreaties?

Yes, I would kiss him, wouldn’t you? 😀

Of course, Cummings wasn’t the first to break out his ‘seize the day/seize the moment’ strategy. While Cummings was anti-clock, our man Shakespeare could think of nothing else. Tick tick tick, time is fleeting, we need more than a kiss, we need to procreate:


When I do count the clock that tells the time, 
And see the brave day sunk in hideous night; 
When I behold the violet past prime, 
And sable curls all silver’d o’er with white;
When lofty trees I see barren of leaves 
Which erst from heat did canopy the herd,
And summer’s green all girded up in sheaves 
Borne on the bier with white and bristly beard, 
Then of thy beauty do I question make, 
That thou among the wastes of time must go,
Since sweets and beauties do themselves forsake
And die as fast as they see others grow; 
     And nothing ‘gainst Time’s scythe can
     make defence
     Save breed, to brave him when he takes
     thee hence. 


A girl has to be careful. She might find it hard to resist someone who tells her she is so beautiful, she must find a way to preserve that rare beauty for the ages. Smooth, I tell you, smooth.

But getting back to Cummings, let’s celebrate a bit more with these artsy kisses:

“Romeo and Juliet” by Frank Bernard Dicksee (1884)
“The Kiss” by Pablo Picasso (ca.1905)
“This Kiss” by Francesco Hayez (1859)
“Poem of the Pillow” by Utamaro Kitagawa (1788)
“The Birthday” by Marc Chagall (1887)
Il bacio di Anna e Gioacchino” by Giotto (considered to be the first kiss in the history of art, at the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua, early 14th century)
“The Kiss” by Gustav Klimt (ca. 1907-1908)

Peck, smack, smooch, what’ll it be?

While you’re deciding, get up and dance with the Shoop Shoop Song; yes, “It’s In His Kiss”:


Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to tell us what your favorite movie kiss is (mine is Colin Firth’s character Jamie kissing Aurelia in “Love Actually”).


*tick tick tick*



Thanks to all who entered our giveaway last week for a copy of Let’s Pop, Pop, Popcorn by Cynthia Schumerth and Mary Reaves Uhles.

We are happy to announce that the winner is:


Congratulations, Nancy! 👏 👏 👏 👏

Thanks for sharing your wonderful popcorn memory.

We know you’ll enjoy the book. 🙂


The lovely, lithe, and literary Linda Baie is hosting the Roundup at TeacherDance. Cha-cha on over to check out the full menu of poetic goodness being shared around the blogosphere this week. Enjoy the weekend and HAPPY SPRING!


*Copyright © 2021 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

42 thoughts on “e. e. cummings o’clock (kisskiss)

  1. What a fun and kissy post! My favorite kissing movie? Gosh…I have to think. I’ve watched so much streaming lately. I really liked, “A Suitable Boy.”

    Liked by 2 people

  2. My favorite kissing scene in a movie is in Cinema Paradiso when Toto, as a grown man, sees all the deleted kisses that the priest in Sicily had deleted when he was a boy. Stupendous, especially with the gorgeous score by Ennio Morricone!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My favorite kissing scene in a movie is in Cinema Paradiso when Toto, as a grown man, sees all the deleted kisses that the priest in Sicily had deleted when he was a boy. Stupendous, especially with the gorgeous score by Ennio Morricone!


  4. Swoon! Your post is ‘sealed with a kiss’, Jama! e.e.’s poem was a bit steamy, “tic clocks toc don’t make a toctic difference to kisskiss you and to kiss me”! I think my favorite screen kiss(es) are from Bridgerton – talk about steamy! Regé-Jean Page is Trevor Noah 2.0 in my opinion. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jama, I have missed coming to your blog each week. Moving has been a full-time part of life leaving little time for reading your delightful take on life. This post is full of delight. All we need is love something sacred. You have filled my morning with kissable happiness on this cold winter morning in Virginia.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for stopping by during a busy time, Carol. Happy Spring — hope you get all your unpacking and settling in done soon. 🙂


  6. I love the idea of kissing spring, Jama, & the romance it brings as you so wonderfully have shared. The art is really wonderful to see, then the music & the poems. Cummings’ words are such a shout at time: “clocks everywhere telling people/what toctic time it is” & Shakespeare’s call to action makes me smile. We are on the same wavelength today! My favorite kiss is Bogart & Bergman – Casablanca. Happy Spring!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Jama, thank you for such a happy, joyful post with treasures from Shakespeare to Cher, which was an awesome video. As for kisses, I’ve most recently enjoyed kisses and love scenes played by Morse, the young detective on the Britbox series, Endeavor.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Wonderful post! Favourite movie kiss would be Colin Firth, last scene in Bridget Jones Diary. It’s exactly how you would want to be kissed by Colin, snow falling softly while Van Morrison plays in the background. But I would be fully dressed 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL. Yes, I thought of that scene too — you’re absolutely right about the snow lightly falling and that Van Morrison song is one of my favorites. I’m totally with you on needing to be more warmly dressed. 😀 I did read somewhere that for “Love Actually” they used a “kissing coach/choreographer.” As if Colin needed direction. Come on . . .


  9. XOXO, Jama! Well, then. A fun post after a year of social distance, for sure. Always love some e. e. cummings, and the Bard, and all this art, and anything having to do with clocks and time! Let’s see… first thing that comes to mind re. movies and kissing is the perfect banter between (young) Fred Savage and Peter Falk throughout The Princess Bride, and the gradual change in opinion about whether the kissing part(s) should be read or skipped over… and there’s some good kissing in that film, too! Hugs and kisses all around, especially to Mr. C., mistletoe or not.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mr C is blushing but happy to receive your kisses. I don’t remember much about “The Princess Bride” as I’ve only seen parts of it. Now I’m intrigued.


  10. A great song, great post, great art, swoon-worthy and cheering. Thanks. Here are favorite words as the geese travel back north:
    “Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
    the world offers itself to your imagination,
    calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –
    over and over announcing your place
    in the family of things.”
    –Mary Oliver


  11. So many lovely literary and artistic kisses! I completely agree with you that these guys would be very hard to resist. Same with other guys like Marvell and Donne. (Fanning myself!) I’m afraid these thoughts have driven movie kisses completely from my mind. 🙂 Ruth, thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com


  12. Not sure about the kissing scene–will have to think about that!

    But my favorite first line of a Cummings poem is “Spring is like a perhaps hand”

    Do you know the Cummings PB bio, ENORMOUS SMALLNESS by Matthew Burgess & Kris DiGiacamo? It’s lovely!

    Happy Spring!!!!


  13. So much joy and love in this post! Thanks (as always) for being a force for good in the world, Jama!


  14. Oh my…such fun in this post. I am swooning over the ee cummings and Shakespeare sonnet. You and Linda were on to something this week. I will have to think about favorite screen kisses. I think I’ve been watching too many crime procedurals and not enough kissing!


  15. Springtime is lovetime for sure! I love all this kissing, and that Love Actually kiss is quite sweet. Colin seems like a natural to me, too. 🙂 A couple of movies come to mind: ATONEMENT and THE AGE OF INNOCENCE, though I can’t pinpoint the exact kiss, but the feeling of the love portrayed in those movies is with me… I guess I need to rewatch. 🙂 Thank you, dear Jama!


  16. Well, I have to second (or am I thirding?) the Bogart/Bergman kiss in Casablanca and the Van Morrison drenched kiss at the end of Bridget Jones. Sigh. 🙂 What a sweet and fun post, Jama!


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