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since feeling is first... (VII)

e.e. cummings

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Added by: Holly
This poem is so romantic! My English teacher used this to propose to his wife! :)
My Thoughts
Added by: Monkeyman
I think that E. E. Cummings is trying to convey the message that we should live by some kind of romantic instinct rather than reason. I think that Cummings is stating that there is no equation or logic to love, but that it just happens. I think Cummings is telling the reader that it is better to love blindly than to try logically reason why it is that you love someone.
Added by: Ally
This is one of my favorite Cummings poems, and it is its laughing unconcernedness that I enjoy most. I think its statement is that love is like the proverbial bumblebee (which shouldn't be able to fly but does anyway); it exists without and perhaps in spite of rules and reason. I pondered about the last line for a while, and I think it means that love doesn't have to be portentous and serious like death.
Beautiful, beautiful
Added by: Jessica
This is my all-time favorite poem. It rings not only of romantic love, but of a deeper love of the English language. As an English major, I fully appreciate cummings' notion that if we all pay attention to the syntactical nuances of our language, so much beauty and love would be lost. We cannot hope to write what it means to be alive in a paragraph, nor can we restrict death to a carefully encapsulated set of partheses. I would love to be immortalized in such a work as this...but one must remember that cummings was a master manipulator of the English language, and this poem may relate to that as well.
death is not )
Added by: Josh
what must be payed closer attention to is that cummings says parenthesIs*, not parenthesEs* he does not mean that death is not in parentheses, he means death is not A parenthesis. in other words, if life were portrayed as this:

birth-->( L I F E )( L I F E D E A T H

where it is left open-ended, as in there is much more to come

"for life's not a paragraph" is just a way to reinforce his previous statement that "who pays any attention / to the syntax of things / will never wholly kiss you;" cummings means that life is literally not a paragraph, so there is no reason to pay attention to sytax; enjoy everyday as if it were the last, carpe diem
Added by: Daniel
One of my favorites.

Another interesting interpretation of the poem (that complements rather than contradicts what else has been said here) comes from reading "syntax" as "sin tax"--"who PAYS any attention/to the SIN TAX of things/will never HOLY kiss you//HOLY to be a fool/while Spring is in the world"

in other words, anyone who "pays a sin tax" (worries about the rightness or wrongness of this love?) will never be able to completely love, or to love in a holy way, since its holy to be a fool while spring is in the world.

Not that I would necessarily agree, but I think it's a beautiful, clever way of making the point.
Added by: Zach
Rather clever that the only word capitalized in the poem is "And."

Which would never start a sentence and be capitalized... in proper syntax of course...
Added by: Diane
I really enjoyed his poem. He writes about how whe you're in love/lust you lose all sight of structure and I think it's neat that his poem has no structure itself. Brilliant
can never forget this
Added by: Kelly
I am a 33 year old science teacher who has not found much time and enjoyment in reading poetry throughout my years. But I remember the day and minute that I first read his poem and it was 19 years ago! I have never been so moved by "mere" words on a page. I feel this poems speaks to the very essence of what first love and true love should always be...free and instinctual, not controled by logic, but passion. It revels in love's flirtatious "giddyness" (spelling?) I adore this poem and find myself looking it up to read often.

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