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The Poet E. E. Cummings was born Edward Estlin Cummings in 1894 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He died in North Conway, N.H.

, in 1962. Cummings earned a B.A. degree from Harvard in 1915 and delivered the Commencement Address that year, titled "The New Art." A year later he earned an M.A. degree for English and Classical Studies, also from Harvard. Cummings joined an ambulance corps with the American Red Cross in France during World War I. The French imprisoned him on suspicion of disloyalty, a false accusation that put Cummings in prison for three months. He wrote the novel, The Enormous Room, about his experience. Many of Cummings writings have an anti-war message. Cummings was a fine artist, playwright and novelist. He studied art in Paris following World War I and he adopted a cubist style in his artwork. He considered himself as much a painter as a poet, spending much of the day painting and much of the night writing. Cummings particularly admired the artwork of Pablo Picasso. Cummings' understanding of presentation can be seen in his use of typography to "paint a picture" with words in some of his poems. The E. E. Cummings Society publishes an annual journal, titled "Spring." It normally contains articles, news, event notices, and critical essays about Cummings and his works. It also includes some reproductions of Cummings artwork. During his lifetime Cummings wrote over 900 poems, two novels, four plays, and had at least a half dozen showings of his artwork. The Poem E. E. Cummings poetry style is unique and highly visual. His typographical independence was an experiment in punctuation, spelling and rule-breaking. His style forces a certain rhythm into the poem when read aloud. His language is simple and his poems become fun and playful. Cummings poem, i carry your heart with me, is about deep, profound love, the kind that can keep the stars apart and that can transcend the soul or the mind. The poem is easily read, easily spoken, and easily understood by people of all ages. The poem could almost be called a sonnet. It has nearly the right number of lines in nearly the right combination. But, typical of a Cummings poem, it goes its own direction and does so with great effect. The poem makes an excellent love song when set to music. The outstanding guitarist, Michael Hedges, has set "i carry your heart" to music on his "Taproot" album, which is available through Amazon.com Hedges himself sings the lead, but the backing vocals are sung by David Crosby and Graham Nash.

The meaning of the poem "i carry your heart with me" may have unique applications to each individual reader. However, there is a universal meaning about the purity of one's deepest love for another being in juxtaposition with [don't know what that is] The theme of aan unfeeling world. ( --------) profound love almost too deep to express in words is heavily imbedded throughout the piece. With his words Cummings has established the fundamental basis of exponentially growing love. The meaning of the uncomplicated words and allusions Cummings employs throughout the four stanzas in iambic pentameter prove to be much more significant under further analysis. Although simplicity is predominate all through the piece, the poem also contains a great deal of literary technique. This skilled implementation is witnessed throughout the clear and concise style of the poem. For instance, the poem begins , "i carry your heart with me(i carry it/ in my heart)" ( lines 1-2 ) , this is written very simply yet, means so much more. In the poem Cummings utilizes important techniques such as punctuation, typography, repetition, personification, and metaphors. His style of using syntax, capitalization, and breaking up sentences brings even greater meaning to the poem. Cummings, who is known for his use of punctuation, wrote this poem with an emphasis on parenthesis and without .A prime example is at the beginning of the second stanza , "no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet) i want/ no world(for beautiful you are my world, my true)" ( lines 6-7) . Subsequently, Cummings inadvertently forces the reader to view the poem in a certain way. The lack of capitalization of 'i' eight times in the poem is to emphasize Cummings' belief that capitalization is used exclusively in poetry for symbolic reasons and his belief that the English language is vain by capitalizing a pronoun for one's self.(insert footnote) The parenthesis in the piece are similar to a Shakespearian aside, which go into personal details which are directed towards the lover. Cummings uses parentheses throughout the poem to enhance the meaning of the lines that come before it. For instance, in the first stanza, rather than saying "i carry your heart with me," he chooses to say "i carry your heart with me (i carry it in / my heart)" (lines 1-2). This enhances the intimacy and closeness of these two human beings, as if they are not whole without one another. Poetic effect is also gained throughout the piece through repetition of certain words and phrases. Repetition is essential in the penultimate stanza of the poem because it adds depth to the poem. The essence of the love Cummings conveys in the poem is felt as a result of repetition in the description of his love, which he believes to be the deepest compassion one can have for another. When the depth of the "secret that nobody knows" (line 10) is described as "...the root of the root and the bud of the bud/ and sky of the sky" (lines 11-12) and there is nothing deeper. The repetition of the three words so closely together conveys the strength of the emotions and emphasizes how this 'secret' is very significant. Cummings is explaining that when you take away everything else in the world, all material possessions and other distractions from the truth, you are left with love. Love is at the core of life, according to Cummings. Personification is also frequented in the poem through comparisons to nature. In the poem, nature is identified with the subject of the poem being "...whatever a moon has always meant / and whatever a sun will always sing..." (lines 8-9). The moon does not particularly mean anything and the sun does not sing in reality, thus the objects have been given the human characteristics in these lines. This personification of the moon and the sun reiterate the concept of the lover being extremely important. So much so that even major elements, without which life cannot exist, are affiliated with them. Metaphors also play a crucial role in the poem, as they add to the understanding of the profound nature of love which is being expressed. The most consistent and strongly used literary device in the poem is imagery. Cummings tactfully employs nature to illustrate love in the poem. The last stanza of the poem

illustrates this tactic best when the metaphor of a tree is used to depict the vastness eternity of his love: "(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud/ and the sky of the sky of a tree called life ;which grows /higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)" (lines 11-13). The imagery Cummings employs creates an incredible effect because this massive tree, which is even higher than the mind can fathom, relates in size to the amount of love the poet holds. Imagery is also employed in the third stanza when Cummings writes "...this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart" (line 14). The 'wonder' which is described is the love Cummings has for his lover, and this parallel with the solar system leaves much to the imagination. With this said Cummings also employs the use of this metaphor because, although this poem is clearly a declaration of everlasting love, he feels it essential to remain individual. Unlike many other romantic poets, Cummings did not feel that love meant losing individuality because a key aspect of his life was remaining unique and true to himself. It is known that when stars collide fusion occurs which can create either a black hole or one resultant star with a much shorter lifespan[insert footnote]. Rather than wanting to 'collide' with his lover Cummings felt that the separateness was essential and that it would be better to live for love rather than to die for it. All of the literary devices which Cummings has employed are essential to the imagery established in the poem and conveying the overall meaning of the poem and its predominantly romantic classification. With his words Cummings has established the fundamental basis and foundation of infinite and unconditional love. Although Cummings wrote this poem in a modern style it falls under the classification of a romantic poem. This is illustrated trough various lines in the poem. The most evident feature which the poem exhibits is the concept of a natural universe, resulting in many references to nature. As previously mentioned, elements like the sun, moon, and stars are contained in the poem. In addition to this the metaphor of a tree which is described by its roots, bud and sky are also enforced. This poem also has other key features of a romantic poem, chief among them is feeling. This aspect is found throughout the poem whether it is from the repetition of the phrase "i carry your heart with me," or the emphasis in stanza three where repetition was previously examined. The poem also features sublime characteristics similar to much of romantic poetry because it instills in the reader overwhelming emotions, illustrated in the description of the tree growing "higher that the soul can hope or mid can hide" (line 13). The poem is at the same time intuitive, creative, and inspirational which are all features of a romantic poem. These aspects can be seen in the metaphors and imagery used throughout. The 'singing sun' and reasoning behind why the stars are kept apart are great examples. Overall, although the poem is written in a very modern manner key features have proved it to be an exceptionally beautiful romantically classified poem. While the poem is written in a modern manner it cannot be either modern or classic for a variety of reasons. Classic poems are unemotional and more systematic in style. This poem is in stark contrast as it lacks such characteristics, rather it contrasts them. In classical poems emotions are controlled, but in this poem emotions flow consistently. A traditional poem also uses reason and logic, yet in this poem the sun 'sings' and a tree grows infinitely. The poem is also not modern although it is a romantic poem written in a very modern style. This is because modern poems lack passion and this poem is filled with an uncontrolled passion while evoking the sublime [not sure what evoking the sublime means, may want to expand]. Modern poems also feature a substantial amount of scientific basis. This poem involves no

science and is extremely natural. The modern style also emphasizes disparity and loss. In the poem a complete opposite is emphasized with the attainment of love. The poem is not cynical like a modern poem and is adorned with natural elements. Modern poems also frequent anger and protest. The poem lacks aspects of both a modern and classic poem causing it not to fall under either classification. Through analysis of E.E. Cummings's poem "i carry your heart with me," it can be deduced that its meaning is displayed through the use of language as a result of Cummings's employment of various literary techniques and characteristics reflective of the predominantly Romantic poem. I personally love this poet and this poem in particular. I admire the work of Cummings because like me he felt uniqueness was essential. I chose this poem with the help of my English teacher, but I first heard it read during the movie In Her Shoes by Cameron Diaz' character to illustrate the love she had for her sister and the idea that she would always be with her no matter how her life changed. I think this is a great poem because in a brief fifteen lines Cummings has developed a theme of profound love much deeper than mere words. The feelings Cummings manages to evoke in this poem are echoed numerous times throughout the world and although the words are not mine I do relate to Cummings words due to their universal sentiment. My personal connection is that I have had someone that I loved to a similar extent. Although this person is now gone their presence is still with me and I feel like I carry a piece of them with my heart. Cummings was a "critical lightening rod in his day" (source ). Today his work is still considered controversial even by some of the most modern of critics. Nevertheless, he remains one of America's most widely read poets and continues to shape society's view of poetry and self-expression with his unique ways.

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