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i like my body when it is with your... (VII)

e.e. cummings

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Added by: Varus
The poet is speaking to his lover yet again, this time telling her how he loves it when his body is with hers. He finds it to be quite "new" (an experience) and exciting. The muscles feel better and the nerves are more alive. He likes his lover's body, the things that it does, how it reacts and moves. He likes to feel her spine, its bones, and "your" body and skin's firm- and smoothness (which he wants to kiss again and again and again). He likes kissing every inch of her body and as he so eloquently puts it, he likes to "slowly stroke the shocking fuzz of her electric fur" ( I believe that this means her skin and hair; perhaps the fuzzy body hair on your arms, face, and other various regions of the body--as he alludes to when he refers to "and what-is-it comes over parting flesh"--obviously, he couldn't refer to the anatomical name; and the fact that these regions of the body are sometimes susceptible to chills when touched). Finally, he ends with the enjoyment he feels when looking into his lover's eyes, those "big love-crumbs" (I just love that terminology--it "cracks me up", and I have also noticed that Cummings is quite fond of using the word "crumb" in his poems), and perhaps, he enjoys and gets a thrill out of that "new" feeling he recieves when having (you) "under me you so quite new"-a wonderful means of switching the structure or syntax around to make it sound more confusing than it really is.
Added by: Ailene
Any particular reason he can't just come out and SAY the word?
did you think I meant country matters?
Added by: Andrew Mayers
Well, what word would you use? Obviously cummings isn’t being bashful. Think about any of the many terms we have for the female genital region and you will understand how such a gentle, unassuming and tender poem would be affected if it were used. Having said that, I do think that there is a pun on ‘cunt’ in 15 line from ‘somewhere i have never travelled’:

“whose texture
compels me with the colour of its countries”

However, this doesn’t ‘spoil’ the poem, although I’m sure I’ll be told so.
I like my body
Added by: Scott A. L.
the last line of the poem is "under me you so quite new" not "under me you quite so new"....sorry to nitpick.
To Varus on "electric fur"
Added by: L. Joi Zess
I read the image of "shocking fuzz" and "electric fur" to be gentle terms for pubic hair, as Cummings makes known the presence of this part but sidesteps the vulgarity of the associated term. That's just how I see it, but I really doubt he meant arm hair.
Added by: Rethabile Masilo
The last line does need to be corrected as I find it spoils the effect. It should go: "under me you so quite new"

Saying "quite so new" is nothing new, but saying "so quite new" is new. And I think Mr Cummings had that in mind, and that that last line does indeed hammer in what he's saying.
Added by: Liza
E. E. Cummings is a modernist poet who uses images to connect to his reader. it is exactly what it says - a new relationship, loving eyes, and just guess what "what -is-it" is... This is a very sexual poem. I love reading it. If put in the context of a relationship, I would love it if a man felt that for me...
emotional transcendence
Added by: bob
I've read a bit of cummings now and then, but after reading this I would totally do him in a heart-beat and I'm not even the least bit gay.

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