Monday Poem: “i carry your heart with me” by e. e. cummings

The Monday Poem

There are so many of e. e. cummings’ poems that I love, I really couldn’t decide which one to share today. I finally concluded that I would share this one this week, and perhaps another in a few weeks time. In the meantime, I definitely suggest you go and look him up. Some of his work is difficult or just plain annoying, but there are a number of gems waiting for the diligent reader. For example:

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 you

here 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)

courtesy of

What delights me about this poem is the rhythm; it’s very close to perfect, with a lovely sing-song that adds a kind of humour to the words. I’ve seen someone complain that the poem is cliche, and therefore dull, but I’m not entirely sure I agree. Taken by themselves, the words are perhaps unoriginal, but it almost seems to me that the poet, far from re-using cliches out of ignorance or lack of inspiration, is in fact subtly mocking them while at the same time using them to carry the weight of the poem. “Whatever the moon as always meant” to me indicates almost a lack of seriousness; it presents an image of someone, wildly in love and wanting to impress his lover, groping for yet another cliche and coming up empty. But that’s just my interpretation. In either case, I find it a fun little poem and especially enjoy the way he uses parentheses to reflect the main image of a heart within a heart: “(I carry it in my heart).” Very clever.

  1. Buffalo Bill’s
    who used to
    ride a watersmooth-silver
    and break onetwothreefourfive pigeonsjustlikethat
    he was a handsome man
    and what i want to know is
    how do you like your blueeyed boy
    mister death.

    Loved this one.

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