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July 13, 2011 / blogaboutpoetry

I carry your heart with me by E.E. Cummings

i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
                                  i fear
no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want
no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is youhere is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

Cummings wrote in such an unusual style it’s difficult not to take notice of his poetry. I’m not sure why he wrote with such a lack of punctuation and capitalisation. Could it be to simplify the words to best convey the meaning behind them? Another oddity is the use of parentheses that often take up big chunks of his poems. As far as I can tell the form they take in this poem is to expand upon Cummings’ initial statements, for example, “i carry your heart with me” is expanded upon by indicating where “your heart” is carried. Whenever I read EE Cummings I always feel like it’s a stream of consciousness and I’m following his thoughts at the time of writing.

As for the poem itself, it’s one of the rawest love poems I know. The use of enjambment is particularly impressive; take a look at the first two lines and how “my heart” is emphasised. The image of his lover’s heart being carried in his heart is so powerful it will probably stick with you as it has done with me.

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