Poem of the Day: e. e. cummings’s “somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond”

somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond

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 will easily 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

e. e. cummings is my favorite poet. He writes beautiful love poems and “somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond” is a well-known example. cummings’s poetry is very unique in many ways. The punctuation only consists of commas, semi-colons, and parentheses. He does not capitalize letters. In “somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond,” there are no clear sentences. He travels to somewhere he has never been. He uses the imagery of petals and roses to express the beautiful delicacy of the love between the speaker and his lover, which cummings describes as follows: “nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals / the power of your intense fragility.” My favorite line is the last one: “nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands.”
The place the speaker has never travelled to is not an actual place but a state of being. He is captivated by “your eyes.” This woman’s effect on him is so powerful that it is “too near to touch.” Once your heart has been broken, it is very hard to let someone in again. But this woman has given him the opportunity to love again and has basically mended his broken heart.  He thus compares himself to a rose and that this woman has the power to open him up again. Because he is a rose, he will have to face death in winter but he does not consider this a bad thing since he will bloom again in the spring (because of this woman.)
In a way, the speaker is not quite sure why and how this woman has so much power over him but she does. The heart simply wants what it wants and we rarely get to choose who we fall in love with. cummings ends the poem by referring to this woman as more powerful than nature, more powerful than rain.
                                                                                         —Zacharo Gialamas

Zacharo is a junior, majoring in Political Science and minoring in Creative Writing. She is from Athens, Greece and plans on living there after graduate school.

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