Unstrange Minds

I have started reading my first book on autism. It’s called ‘Unstrange Minds’ by Roy Richard Grinker. Its very readable- I can read it while being kicked by a 3 year old- and is written by someone with an autistic daughter, so already there are some interesting parallels. The title is taking from a line in a poem by e.e.cummings, which I’ve posted below. I’ve read an e.e.cummings poem before and found it pretty impenetrable and this one is no different! However, I understand that it criticises the way we try to enforce normaility and social conformity on ourselves. This idea appeals to me.


conceive a man, should he have anything
would give a little more than it away

(his autumn’s winter being summer’s spring
who moved by standing in november’s may)
from whose(if loud most howish time derange

the silent whys of such a deathlessness)
rememberance might no patient mind unstrange
learn(nor could all earth’s rotting scholars guess
that life shall not for living find the rule)

and dark beginnings are his luminous ends
who far less lonely than a fire is cool
took bedfellows for moons mountains for friends

-open your thighs to fate and (if you can
withholding nothing) World, conceive a man
ee cummings

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