I write this to help those who have difficulty reading this experimental form.
The fact that the printed form is somewhat anthropomorphic is chance and was not necessarily my intent.
Revision Note: The original has some colored type that emphasises some of the forms. I have added that hint in the current version. It is not possible to do in the poem postings area of PoetrySoup. Red text indicates primary words and blue indicates seconday forms.
The key is the title bow hows as well as the first words of the poem. Try saying it aloud (I believe poetry should always be read aloud, even if the reader is alone.) Pronounce the "o" in bow as you would pronounce the "o" in how. This will give a phonetic approximation to the name of the famous German school of architecture: bauhaus.
Then there is a hint in lines 8 - 13 which is, in my opinion, a well-known description(?) of the style developed at the school, form follows function. My original posting had a typo in funktion (missing the "k" in the German spelling) which I corrected.
Then we come to the last lines, rests on 2 pillars which are named in the last lines, :eEc and wCw: e e Cummings and William Carlos Williams.
rests on 2
p i l
e c w w
Now, of course, the reader may not agree with my selections as the two pillars, but they are for me. The reason is, regarding e e Cummings, that he wrote a small collection entitled Experiments with Typography, Spacing and Sound (1916 - 17.) For instance in A Girl's Ring he wrote:
was can dy
ons . . .
And regarding William Carlos Williams, he wrote much in a style seen often today and that I often use:
A Negro Woman
carrying a bunch of marigolds
in an old newspaper.
She carries them upright,
of her thighs
causing her to waddle
as she walks . .
I enjoyed writing bow hows and hope you enjoy reading it :-)