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Analysis and comments on since feeling is first... (VII) by e.e. cummings

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Comment 20 of 450, added on June 23rd, 2005 at 9:38 AM.

this poem is of my favorites... at first i didnt understand it, i chose to
do it for an english project, and after i was done i really got what it was
trying to say...its so.. perfect, every line has its own meaning for every
person.. mine is "for life is not a paragraph" which is sooo true

Brittney from United States
Comment 19 of 450, added on June 11th, 2005 at 7:20 PM.

Cummings poetry is a reflection of his personal life. He wrote to and
about the people and events around him. Why she is crying seems quite
obvious, given his comment immediately following his "don't cry." "The
best" of Cummings brain, was his WORK, his poetry, which he was
internationally famous for. He comforts her by explaining that his great
poetic talent is nothing to him, compared to the effect her love has on
him. So clearly, she is crying because she feels inadequate--she doesn't
feel worthy of such a "great man." This happens to everyone who rides the
arm of a celebrity; eventually they feel unworthy. In a typically ironic
and perfect way, Cummings uses writing metaphors and terms throughout the
piece, since they are what is being discussed.
It is my favorite poem, and as others have stated, it is a modern carpe
diem poem--"Join me in joyously living in the moment," with Cummings
oft-repeated admonition: "...and don't worry about the rules."

Michael LeClair from United States
Comment 18 of 450, added on May 5th, 2005 at 2:16 PM.

in this poem he puts down death (over love) in 2 metaphors. This feeling is
so intense and great that he does not want to think in the possibility of
it being done with by death. notice something " eyelind's" (ur eyes r the
window 2 ur soul).

Jacky from United States
Comment 17 of 450, added on April 22nd, 2005 at 6:29 PM.

My favorite line in this poem is " life is not a paragraph".; it's so true.
Life is not like something that we can write and then go back if we screw
up, and rewrite. well said e!

Denise from United States
Comment 16 of 450, added on April 7th, 2005 at 12:02 AM.

Take it however you want to. This poem embodies, for me, the thoughts that
run through my head when I look at my lover. ee cummings...you speak
volumes in broken lines.

Dawn from United States
Comment 15 of 450, added on March 19th, 2005 at 2:20 PM.

As many have before me, I will offer my reading of the poem, stanza by

"since feeling is first
who pays any attention
to the syntax of things
will never wholly kiss you;"

I take this to mean that the flow of time is irrelevant; that when you
first feel something, everything else occurs simultaneously. If you will
ultimately develop a relationship with this person, that is evident from
the first moment you meet. I take this to be cummings' explanation of the
age-old whispering of newfound lovers, "I feel like I've known you

"wholly to be a fool
while Spring is in the world"

Spring is a common theme in cummings' poetry. He introduces it fairly
often as a symbol for new life; new worlds for exploration. Here, I see
this to mean that the novelty of intense love can make one do things that
one would otherwise not do, "while Spring is in the world" thus implying
that the love is in its beginning stages, an implication strengthened by
the previous stanza (a nearly Donne-like poem perhaps--"If we EVER will
have sex, why not now? Syntax doesn't matter.").

"my blood approves,
and kisses are a better fate
than wisdom
lady i swear by all flowers. Don't cry
- the best gesture of my brain is less than
your eyelids' flutter which says"

Blood approving can have many readings. It perhaps suggests that down to
the very marrow of his existance, he loves this lady. Or, maybe, it
suggests the flush of a new love.

Kisses being a better fate than wisdom is fairly self-explanatory. It's a
stark contrast to the poems of such literary greats as Shakespeare, who
flatter their lovers by reaffirming their immortalization in their poetry.

It's a typical cummings thing to do, swearing by flowers. In his poetry,
flowers are given a near-idolized position. In fact, poetry as a whole is
often seen as "flowery."

At this point, I fall into a reiteration of other readings--I agree that
"the best gesture of my brain is less than / your eyelids' flutter" hints
at an ineffability of love. All this poetry, perhaps he means, can be at
once surpassed by a single flutter of your eyelids.

"we are for each other; then
laugh, leaning back in my arms
for life's not a paragraph"

What love has not been characterized by a feeling of being "for each
other"...has not been characterized by laughter and warm embraces?

I take the last line of this stanza to mean that life is not a paragraph,
with strict syntax and grammar and sentences and punctuation. Time, again,
is both flowing and occurring simulatneously.

"And death i think is no parenthesis"

It's interesting to see this sort of self-awareness in cummings' poetry.
He is the master of parentheses, throwing them in places where, to even the
least critical grammatical eye, they don't belong. With these parentheses,
he makes brilliant commentary on the nature of life and love. Yet this
poem is lacking in any parentheses. A parenthesis orders things; gives
them a syntax and a structure, something that cummings evidentally was
trying to avoid in this poem.

And even death, he boldly claims, could not give a syntax to this exciting
new love.

Elizabeth from United States
Comment 14 of 450, added on January 31st, 2005 at 7:38 PM.

when cummings says is comparing his brain to her eyelashes, he is proving
that love can't be analized. when people can forget about cause and effect
and simply love love, then one has found true love. this is my favorite
poem because it is the absence of all stress and worry. cummings is
describing a human's creation of Eden.

jess from United States
Comment 13 of 450, added on January 24th, 2005 at 3:39 AM.

since feeling is first is a poem about physical attraction, carpe diem,
take the chance etc.

Kelly from Australia
Comment 12 of 450, added on January 21st, 2005 at 4:02 PM.

At first, I didnt really understand this poem. But after reading everyone's
comments on it, I realize that it truly is a carpe diem type of poem. It
just shows you how deep his love for this woman really is. He tells her
that he would prefer a single kiss from her than infinite wisdom. I know
hes dead, but great poem e!

Comment 11 of 450, added on January 7th, 2005 at 10:55 AM.

This was the greatest poem ive ever read, this poem is
very true.

Tiffany P. from United States

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Information about since feeling is first... (VII)

Poet: e.e. cummings
Poem: since feeling is first... (VII)
Added: Feb 20 2003
Viewed: 6340 times
Poem of the Day: Nov 30 2005

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