The Eagle

by e.e. cummings

It was one of those clear,sharp.mustless days That summer and man delight in. Never had Heaven seemed quite so high, Never had earth seemed quite so green, Never had the world seemed quite so clean Or sky so nigh. And I heard the Deity's voice in The sun's warm rays, And the white cloud's intricate maze, And the blue sky's beautiful sheen. 2 I looked to the heavens and saw him there,-- A black speck downward drifting, Nearer and nearer he steadily sailed, Nearer and nearer he slid through space, In an unending aerial race, This sailor who hailed From the Clime of the Clouds.--Ever shifting, On billows of air And the blue sky seemed never so fair, And the rest of the world kept pace. 3 On the white of his head the sun flashed bright; And he battled the wind with wide pinions, Clearer and clearer the gale whistled loud, Clearer and clearer he came into view,-- Bigger and blacker against the blue. Then a dragon of cloud Gathering all its minions Rushed to the fight, And swallowed him up in a bite; And the sky lay empty clear through. 4 Long I watched. And at last afar Caught sight of a speck in the vastness; Ever smaller,ever decreasing, Ever drifting,drifting awayInto the endless realms of day; Finally ceasing. So into Heaven's vast fastness Vanished that bar Of black,as a fluttering star Goes out while still on its way. 5 So I lost him. But I shall always see In my mind The warm,yellow sun,and the ether free; The vista's sky,and the white cloud trailing, Trailing behind,-- And below the young earth's summer-green arbors, And on high the eagle,--sailing,sailing Into far skies and unknown harbors

E. E. Cummings is important to me and maybe to you too. But you don't get to read "The Eagle" today because monetizing his products sixty years after his death is more important to W W Norton, who sent me a copyright infringement notice for trying to show you this poem.

Copyright is harmful and counterproductive and it is strangling our culture and progress. No one has a natural right to own an idea. Owning ideas is intuitively absurd. And copyright holders do not own their ideas exactly. They have been granted a temporary monopoly on reproduction, in order to encourage artists to produce works of value to us all. Or it used to be temporary, anyway. The original Copyright Act on 1790 set the duration to 14 years, with the right of renewal for one additional 14 year term if the author was still alive. If that reasonable term was still in effect, works created before 1988 would all be in the public domain now (2012). Can you imagine a world where everything by The Beatles was in the public domain by now? It's easy if you try.

Dig the graph on this article about the objective harm copyright is doing to our culture, The Missing 20th Century. Ugly.