As an advocate for individuality, E. E. Cummings flooded pages with his thoughts and transformed traditional poetry into his own. Varying from topics of love to death, Cummings never restricted himself with strict rules, but rather expressed his feelings through innovative poems. He often included aspects of nature into his poems to express its ever-changing character, and personify it with its own “identity. ” Imagery provided a focal point for symbolism and conveyed Cummings’ hidden messages.
Additionally, to further create distinction, Cummings often wrote in unique ways-whether it was with odd unctuation to playing around with word positions. He showcased his own special character and style through his poems, that tie together with a theme of individuality. eccentric Part Four: Five Explications Published in 1952, “[i carry your heart with me(i carry it in]” presents the inner thoughts of an obsessed lover. Although short, it provides insight into a couple’s romantic journey. The poet uses a “call and response” form where he makes a statement, then remarks on it, using parenthesis to identify the shift.
Without the parenthetical response, the poem reads very monotone like, without passion or feeling. However, with the reply, the poem produces tones of an enchanted perfect love. The poet carrying his lover’s heart with him at all times illustrates his adornment. He sees her as this perfect being, stating she is “my fate.. my world” (5-6). Furthermore, he hints at the idea that she has great meaning in life and their love is endless. While this poem seems self-explanatory, Cummings’ distinct poetic features reflect the speaker’s deeper story.
Throughout the poem, parentheses break up the line rather than typical commas or periods. By using unconventional punctuation, enjambment and a sense of authenticity is achieved. Rather han structured sentences, the poem mimics stream of consciousness and how the speaker’s words fill with love, right from his heart. Cummings also gives the poet possessive yet romantic attributes. In the first line, the speaker figuratively carries his lover’s heart with him, thus, whether she wants to or not, she is always with him. This controlling characteristic contrasts the phrases “my dear. my darling. y fate, my sweet. my world, my true” (3-6).
With the repetition of ‘my paired with the “carrying” of her heart, the speaker has an assertive characteristic-he “owns” the girl and she is “his”- while he conveys adornment for his love. Moreover, in the latter half of the second stanza, the poet compares his partner with aspects of nature-the moon and sun. These elements combine together to create a celestial image of the speaker’s lover. Through personification, his lover becomes the meaning of the moon and the symbol of the songs the sun sings where nothing can break her beauty (7-8).
Cummings then creates a major shift where the speaker goes from praising his lover to sharing a “secret” in the last stanza. Using parallel structure with the phrases, “root of the root. bud of the bud… sky of the sky,” the poet emphasizes the importance f love and how it is what ties him and his lover together (10-11). Using metaphor and symbolism, the “tree called life” is their love and relationship which, as he states, “grows higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)” (11-12). This creates an image of an ever growing couple-they are grounded and intertwined, rising together to create an unbreakable relationship.
Finally, the speaker finishes the poem off with the same beginning line. By doing so, the poem comes full circle and wraps the idea of love all up. While Cummings wrote about a cliched topic, he approached it in an unconventional way. “[i arry your heart with me(i carry]” is a fourteen line sonnet. However, unlike Shakespeare, Cummings does not use a three quatrain-couplet form. Additionally, he does not use a rhyme scheme in the first stanza, but switches to a slight abab rhyme scheme for the next two stanzas. Rather, the poet used a free verse sonnet to emphasize this everlasting love he has.
About a decade earlier, Cummings wrote the poem “[anyone lived in a pretty how town]”. This poem features confusing and, what often seems like, contradictory ideas using ambiguous language. gin with, the lack of a title gives no hint as to what the ubject of the poem is. Reading it through for the first time there are odd phrases, a lack of commas or punctuation, as well as reoccurring notes on nature and their symbolic meaning. The poety crafts his poem to provide a relatable story on towns reminiscent of 1984 by George Orwell and how one might blend and disappear whilst continually doing the mundane in life.
To understand the poem as a whole, lines must be broken down and picked apart to realize each word’s meaning, then pieced back together to form the story. The first line reads “anyone lived in a pretty how town”“. The subject “anyone” lacks apitalization, one of Cummings signature traits, making it easy to miss the personification of anyone as an actual person. Creating this ambiguous character, readers can relate to the life of Anyone and place themselves in his shoes easily because he could represent anyone.
Then the phrase “pretty how town” creates awkward wording with “how” being inserted between “pretty town. ” This can be interpreted as the town looking pretty, but when truly looked at, one might question just how pretty it is (Clark). As the poem goes on, the town’s workings seem normal on the outside, yet raises the question how might he town be pretty if Anyone was treated the way he was. The second line goes on to state, “(with up so floating many bells down)”. Similarly, to the first poem, the parentheses here are used almost as a response or addendum to the previous line.
Here it describes the town bells, with the opposites “up” and “down” to show movement and the passing of time as the next line does with the listing of the seasons going by (Dempsey). The poet uses vague language to describe complex ideas in the fourth line, “he sang his didn’t he danced his did. ” “His didn’t” represents Anyone’s failures while “his did” represents ccomplishments. Choosing this diction, the speaker created an alliteration to keep the line flow moving and obvious juxtaposition to highlight contrasts of Anyone.
The poem goes on, describing the citizens and emphasizing their size as “both little and small” to show their importance, or lack thereof, and how their hearts and care had no room for Anyone (5). Line seven, “they sowed their isn’t they reaped their same”, uses odd wording similar to line four where “their isn’t” represents future children and “their same” represents the similarity of children. Quite possibly, this illustrates how the town is almost factory or arm like-parents have children who are raised to be exactly the same as if they were simple crops.
But without further explanation, the poet ends the stanza with “sun moon stars rain” to symbolize how life continues on despite all the oddity of the town (8). Continuing to follow Anyone’s life, “noone” fell in love with him-or symbolically, no one loved anyone, but life went on. Children forgot about Anyone while Noone’s world revolved around Anyone. Others got married, but were not always happy with life because they settled for what they had. Eventually, Anyone died, Noone kissed his face, “busy folk” uried him, and the town continued along.
Cummings crafted this poem as an ambiguous take on society’s workings. He illustrates a world where others did not come as a priority and outlines the dreary consequences. Using abstract language to create images of an odd town, readers are able to connect and relate to the poem’s subject. Especially in a time where the Great Depression just ended, this poem would strike a chord with American citizens going through rough economic times. It reminds everyone to care for one another and not let the unfortunate pass away without making their mark.