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somewhere i have never travelled... (LVII) Analysis

Author: Poetry of e.e. cummings Type: Poetry Views: 2090

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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 nearyour 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, misteriously) her first roseor 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 we are to perceive in this world equals

the power of your intense fragility: whose texture

compels me with the colour 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


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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

.: :.

Stanza 1
“somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond” begins with the title words. The words, “somewhere” and “travelled” imply that the speaker is about to tell the reader about a journey that he has taken or will take. This journey is a happy one, as the word “gladly” indicates, although the reader does not know at this point the destination of this journey. In the end of the first line and beginning of the second line, the poet clarifies that this journey is “beyond / any experience” that he has ever had. He also, curiously, notes that “your eyes have their silence.” The “your” indicates that the speaker is talking to another person, who for some reason has silent eyes. The reader can determine that the poet is discussing metaphysical concepts, abstract ideas that cannot be experienced by one’s physical senses. In the real world, eyes do not have the capability of producing noise, so they are, by default, silent. The discussion of the person’s eyes, along with the use of the word “gladly,” gives readers their first indication that this might be a love poem. Eyes are thought by many to be a window into a person’s soul, and poets often describe their lovers’ eyes in positive terms.
In the third line, the use of the words “frail gesture” indicates that the person to whom the speaker is dedicating this poem is most likely a woman. At the time this poem was written, frailty was often used to describe womanhood. While this idea has since become a negative stereotype to many, readers in cummings’s time would have recognized this frailty as a compliment to the woman in the poem. The speaker notes that this woman’s frail gestures contain “things which enclose me,” or which he “cannot touch because they are too near.” The speaker is not saying that these things are literally enclosing him. Instead, these things— the feelings that are produced in the speaker by this woman’s enchanting glance—are so powerful that he feels enclosed by them. At the same time, although these feelings surround him, he cannot touch them, because they are so all-consuming that they have become a deeply ingrained part of him. At this point, the reader can see that when the speaker discusses the “somewhere” to which he is travelling, he is not talking about a literal, physical journey. Rather, his journey is metaphysical, and the woman’s eyes are the means by which the speaker makes this journey.

| Posted on 2010-10-08 | by a guest

.: love as a flower :.

Cummings uses the image of a flower to recognize the fragility of love. The meeting of two hearts can be looked upon as mere coincidence or a definitive destiny. As a petal remains closed in the darkness, so does the heart without love. Cummings goes on to express how "eyes that are deeper than all roses" revel in a mystery and realm beyond that of this world. Love is something that comes from our own fragility, our own mystery, and a struggle with ourselves and the world around us. It is the one thing that can't be seen with the eyes that is deeper and more important than anything else.

| Posted on 2007-07-27 | by a guest

.: :.

The poem details the profound feelings of love that the speaker has for his beloved, and his wonder over this mysterious power that the woman has over him. Over the course of the short poem, the speaker examines and praises this power, and notes how his beloved has transformed him. The speaker in the poem may or may not be cummings himself, although the intensity of emotion expressed in the poem leads one to believe that the poet is describing his own experiences. When cummings published somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond, he had been married to Anne Barton for two years. While Barton might have been the source of the poems inspiration, this inspiration would have been short-lived, for cummings and Barton divorced a year later, in 1932. A current copy of the poem can be found in E. E. Cummings: Complete Poems 19041962, which was published in hardcover by Liveright in 1994.

| Posted on 2006-03-06 | by Approved Guest

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