Category: Agile Musings

Since Feeling Is First

There’s a poem by Edward Estlin Cummings. You probably know him as ee cummings, but that’s just typesetter’s revenge. He never wrote his name that way, but he was particular about how his poems were rendered into type, and that just frustrated the folks who put books together for a living. They’d learned all these rules about how to put together punctuation and capitalization, and here was this guy who wanted the book to look the way his typescript looked.

Anyway, there’s this poem. It doesn’t have a title, but most everyone (thanks to those same typesetter guys, or maybe their partners in publication, the “ediders”), uses the first line of the poem as a handle for the rest of it. So if you were to search the interwebs for

since feeling is first

you’d find it, I’d avoid violating the intellectual property rights of the estate of Mr. Cummings, and you’d get a lot of commentary and interpretation thrown in for free. I’ll wait while you go search and read…


This blog, unlike the poem, isn’t about love or punctuation (but see this). It isn’t about methodology, and it might not even be about agile, at least not much. We’ll see. But this poem is what gave me the idea to write — or try to write, much as Westerners have tried to write books “explaining” Zen — about how it feels to practice an agile approach to developing software, and how that feeling doesn’t stop with the bits but has spread through my life.