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Comment 3 of 183, added on September 15th, 2004 at 1:46 PM.
I first heard this poem in the 8th grade when I was about 13. It made no
sense to me then, and only a bit more to me now. But after roughly
analyzing the poem myself, I found it to mean that love is an emotion felt,
not something to be over-analyzed or organized or picked apart. And the
structure of the poem, the breaks and punctuation, go to further that, (I
think...) It's all a jumble of beautifully written words, like love is a
jumble of beautifully expressed emotions.
Comment 2 of 183, added on September 6th, 2004 at 6:00 AM.
And of course, by death is no parenthesis, it means death doesn't end at
some point so that we can live again, so live life the fullest because as
death is no parenthesis it will not close() to give us life again.
Comment 1 of 183, added on August 29th, 2004 at 10:20 AM.
First off, I'm not surprised that you don't understand. Cummings is not
the easiest poet to follow. I'm not an expert by any means of Cummings,
but it seems to me that he is of the tradition among poets who let you read
your own meaning into the words he wrote. That being said, he is still a
writer, still a poet, and his words are meant to put you in a certain frame
Here's my reading of it. The first stanza tells us that the root of love
is the feeling and when you start to get involved in love, things may not
make much sense to your brain. "There is no syntax" or order or sense to
the way we feel. Furthermore, if you try to make sense of it, you miss out
on it--"will never wholly kiss you." Love also puts us in the frame of
mind to not care about sensibility. Cummings mostly just elaborates on
this sentiment throughout the poem, ending with the assurance that "life is
not a paragraph, and death I think is no paranthesis." In other words,
it's ok that love doesn't make sense because life isn't sensible and
orderly, and neither is death. He uses the symbol of a paragraph, or
written language, to which we are all familiar, with all its order and
rules, and contrasts that with feelings and love and life and death.
One item of note that is interesting. Right in the middle of the poem he
reveals to us his motivation for writing these words. "Dear lady...don't
cry." It seems that the woman he speaks to is upset (probably about how
insensible love is). This poem is meant to alay her fears telling her that
love, like life, is not set on rules and order and sensibility.
from United States
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