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Analysis and comments on may i feel said he by e.e. cummings

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Comment 31 of 161, added on January 9th, 2006 at 10:21 AM.

I visited a website in a search for information on Cummings which I think
may interest people. (The address is,
http://www.harvardmagazine.com/on-line/030585.html) In light of previous
postings, and various comments on the 'naked innocence' of the poem (to
quote Rob), I was interested to read this article by Adam Kirsch:

"Cummings [...] was part of the generation that returned from World War One
ready to demolish Victorian illusions and experiment with all kinds of
liberation, sexual and social as well as literary."

I think this liberation is mirrored in Cummings's complete disregard for
punctuation, in that the poem takes on a sense of fluidity and seems to
breakdown formal and old-fashioned views to sex. I'm intrigued however, as
to why Cummings chose such a conventional format of regular four-line
stanzas in 'may i feel said he' when his work is mostly recognised by its
more erratic visual form. Is this possibly because he's describing an act
that IS completely conventional (rather than unconventional / strange) and,
as I mentioned before, fluid? Or could it be that the poem is meant to be
comic; thus the jaunty AB rhyme scheme?

I have a theory that everything Cummings has enclosed in brackets is
actually a thought, rather than something the characters say out-loud.
Ideas on this: anyone…?

Lastly, I particularly love the line, ‘but it’s life said he’, which for me
encapsulates the simplistic beauty of the poem; the idea that sex is
beautiful, natural, and that it’s a reason for living. Cummings himself
apparently went through a number of marriages and affairs, which would seem
to explain his enthusiasm for expressing his joy of physical love!

Jo from United Kingdom
Comment 30 of 161, added on December 27th, 2005 at 2:23 PM.

cummings has long been my favorite American poet. I read this for the
first time when I was about 17 - and read it over an over, totally turned
on by its exquisite sensuality. At 57, I am still turned on by the work,
this time by its insight, purity and naked innocence.

Rob from United States
Comment 29 of 161, added on November 12th, 2005 at 7:40 PM.

Beautiful economy of words and simplicity of expression to create vivid,
though complex, identification with poet's romantic playfulness.

William Chase from United States
Comment 28 of 161, added on September 27th, 2005 at 7:35 AM.

I teach this in senior English classes - it is compressed language at
cummings non-punctuated best! It sums up male-female relationships, needs
and wants so well --especially at the adolescent stage ( which many never
outgrow). It teaches us how to read a poem -- and can be dramatized easily.
May it inspire more poetry. ST

S.Turchet from Canada
Comment 27 of 161, added on September 14th, 2005 at 11:16 AM.

This poem is among my favorits from cumming.
David dont ever talk again please

Matt from United States
Comment 26 of 161, added on September 7th, 2005 at 7:01 PM.

nice *lol*

sam from United States
Comment 25 of 161, added on June 21st, 2005 at 1:25 PM.

Does anyone know when (what year) Cummings wrote this wonderful poem?

Sofi from Sweden
Comment 24 of 161, added on May 24th, 2005 at 7:36 AM.

I have no words to express about this poem. It is as engimatic as that ?

Comment 23 of 161, added on April 11th, 2005 at 4:18 PM.

when i read this poem my first thought agreed with many of these comments-
i thought that she was not as experienced as he was and things were rushed,
perhaps there was an affair. but as i read more into it, i began to
visualize something completely different. as a member of the female
species, i can honestly say that girls are sinical (forgive spelling) and
should not always be portrayed as perfect angels. i think in this poem she
is playing the innocent card- making him think he is in control, when in
the end she makes the comment "you are Mine" i think the capitalization
signifies that she was in control the whole time and that, despite what
other writers say, girls are not always as sweet and innocent as we think.

kelly from United States
Comment 22 of 161, added on April 4th, 2005 at 5:33 AM.

This is a great poem, full of different tidbits that allow many different
translations. Heres what I got (please understand that I am not trying to
brag on myself or anything of the sort). Based on my own sexual
experiences I believe that what he write in parenthesis is said in a
whisper or a lower, more passionate tone. What is not is said in a normal
voice, with the exception of the next to last line (it has an exclamation).
I think that possibly "he" is quite a bit older than "she". Based on the
affair thing and also the difference in language that they use. "He" seems
more confident and knows how to seduce her, while she is shy and it is
probably her first time.

Pistolas from United States

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Information about may i feel said he

Poet: e.e. cummings
Poem: may i feel said he
Added: Jan 31 2004
Viewed: 894 times
Poem of the Day: Jun 21 2000

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