Thursday, May 22, 2014

Analysis of "I carry your heart with me (i carry it in]" by E.E. Cummings

Original poem reprinted online here: "I carry your heart with me (i carry it in]" by E.E. Cummings
Originally read: October 14, 2013
More information about the Poet: E.E. Cummings


Syntax.  This is what the entire poem is based off of.  First though note that in this entire poem there is no other punctuation other than brackets or parenthesis.    Here's the thing as well.  With the title, the entire title is bracketed but there is an open parenthetical there as well.  For me, I take the brackets as more of a conceptual overview with the parenthetical being more of an emotional encapsulation opened up with the repetition of "carry" focusing more on the verb than the contents.

Even though the content of the first stanza is pretty straight forward, the syntax pushes for something more:

     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)

Note how the punctuation doesn't create space, but the words do.  Here the idea of closeness is amplified by this lack of of space.  Now the parenthetical shows more of an affirmation of love -- carrying and motivation.

The line by itself of "i fear" plays on the idea of the turn -- that there's something darker to this poem than it is.  But this is a trick of loving through negation:

     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

The poem takes away "fate" and the "world" and introduces bigger more grandiose comparison -- moon and sun = you.

and again the poet plays with the idea of something further hidden with the line, "here is the deepest secret nobody knows" which is explained in the parenthetical:

     (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 soul can hope or mind can hide)
     and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

The secret is very, well, first starts out with calling the obvious the obvious which can be inferred that love is love.  Then the idea becomes a metaphor with "tree called life" -- a sort of investment made.  And this is what keeps stars apart -- the lack of investment to grow something which is better than have something bright, and wanted, off in the distance.

The last line, which is the first line as a full line, "i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart) then goes back to the idea of the "root" and the "bud"  something that grows from below and then above.

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