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somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond
Posted by: Aaron (71.193.157.---)
Date: January 08, 2009 10:34PM

This poem by E. E. Cummings is addictingly interesting to me. I would be very glad to hear some commentary on this poem in particular, but also on E. E. Cummings in general. What are possible explanations for his unusual use punctuation, spacing, and capitalization in his poetry?

Also, his final line in this poem “nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands” must be the best line in poetry (at least to me, right now, it is). What are some of your most favorite or haunting lines in poetry?


Re: somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond
Posted by: IanAKB (210.84.14.---)
Date: January 09, 2009 09:13AM

Might as well put up the poem:


somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond
any experience,your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near

your slightest look easily will unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skilfully,mysteriously)her first rose

or if your wish be to close me, i and
my life will shut very beautifully ,suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;

nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility:whose texture
compels me with the color of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing

(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens;only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands



Aaron, I share your addiction to this beautiful poem, and to the remarkable closing line. (The penultimate line is a zinger too).

I must reserve until later attempting a commentary that would do this poem and EEC justice.

Will think about your question re favourite lines in poetry. There are so many!

Ian

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/30/2009 09:19AM by IanAKB.


Re: somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond
Posted by: Aaron (71.193.157.---)
Date: January 09, 2009 10:23AM

Thanks Ian, I look forward to hearing more sometime. The penultimate line confuses me, and is one area I am hoping for some insight. It seems to me that previously the narrator has likened himself to a rose, not her eyes. Why would he now switch? Is he switching?

(Keep in mind that a favorite list of mine and a $1.50 will get you a ride on the DC Metro. Usually what I am reading at the time is my favorite)

Cheers


Re: somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond
Posted by: misterF (91.109.194.---)
Date: January 11, 2009 05:27PM

I've often wondered whether this poem has an autobiographical note. The poem was first published, with no title, in his 1931 volume Viva: he had been married to Anne Barton for two years but ... the marriage was a flurry of passion and dislike intermingled and they parted in 1932.
This poem --- oh how I wish I could write like that! --- just sounds so like what a man in torment would write about a woman he loved/hated, equal measure. Been there, done that.
Or does it?


Re: somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond
Posted by: Aaron (71.193.157.---)
Date: January 11, 2009 06:09PM

Thanks for the help misterF,

Would it be fair to restate your question to ask, is this poem about an experience of true love or infatuation? If this is your question, I would say I had not considered the idea of infatuation, mostly because the poem doesn't bring me up and down and up and down.

That being said, I admit that I understand very little about this poem. My first question would be where is the somewhere that he has not travelled beyond?


Re: somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond
Posted by: eness (114.143.34.---)
Date: January 12, 2009 08:22AM

Aaron Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

My first question would
be where is the somewhere that he has not
travelled beyond?



Could his punctuations help to improve the meaning: (Ironical in an EEC poem)?

somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond
any experience,your eyes have their silence:

A comma comes after travelled so the words left out there are "which is gladly beyond any experience". Then there is a comma after experience and perhaps the word to be filled in there is "where your eys have their silence".
The colon at the end of the second line says that the next two lines describe this place. Those two lines i do not understand.

"in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near"

If they are too near would this not mean then the place where he has never travelled before is right where he is at that moment? I do not know. Just thinking aloud.

What I like is this poem can be an antithesis (or synthesis - depending on what this poem means) to Dante's Sudden light. That is another poem i love. Easy to understand and beautiful.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/12/2009 08:24AM by eness.




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