but if a living dance upon dead minds

but if a living dance upon dead minds
why,it is love;but at the earliest spear
of sun perfectly should disappear
moon’s utmost magic,or stones speak or one
name control more incredible splendor than
our merely universe, love’s also there:
and being here imprisoned,tortured here
love everywhere exploding maims and blinds
(but surely does not forget,perish, sleep
cannot be photographed,measured;disdains
the trivial labelling of punctual brains…
-Who wields a poem huger than the grave?
from only Whom shall time no refuge keep
though all the weird worlds must be opened?

Analysis, meaning and summary of e.e. cummings's poem but if a living dance upon dead minds


  1. Andrew says:

    this is a thrice song

  2. Eric says:

    I think that this poem is about how people tend to analyze and dissect everything they can in this world. Here, he is showing how people not only dont appreciate things such as love, but they try to find a scientific explanation for it. To them, love isnt something beautiful, its just another chemical reaction. BTW Thrice’s song that uses this poem is amazing!!!

  3. Myk says:

    Meaning simply put: love endures

  4. Drew says:

    “A living dance upon dead minds” is one of the best definitions of love that has ever been put on paper. It is just as valid, just as intense and intimate, in the spiritual realm as in the emotional realm.

  5. Amber Dunham says:

    i am a little angry that this poem has been viewed almost literally 11,000 times and there are sooo very few comments on it this poem has sooo many valued descriptions.it is describing the beauty and also the pain of love post a comment you silly fools!

  6. Julie says:

    As I understand EE Cummings in this poem, I feel he is railing against the smallness and disdain he feels toward people who are left brained, time oriented and who exercise authority over creative right brained people. I feel he is spiritually percieving love and its beauty and how overall, some people who put the letter of the law above the spirit of the law are not going to have the “last laugh” so to speak. He is expressing the triumph of love that is intrinsically known and experienced just by feeling and thinking about love, but also he is talking about the eternal aspects of love too. He is a positve and spiritual thinker!!! I loved his statements and the creative way he said them! I thank God for EE Cummings!

  7. sa.maRa says:

    i think this is an

    [amazing] poem.
    and i love cummings poetry. ..

  8. Adrienne says:

    I’m a little dissapointed about the lack of comments. This is an amazing poet and an amazing poem. I love e. e. cummings. Although, I admit, he is a little difficult to figure out. I think the poem is talking about the greatness of love and how it is often lost on society and all of its rational, orderly, monotony. Love is still there, waiting to be freed to do what its magic was made for. I could be wrong though, considering that cummings usually writes very positively; but then I guess the poem is about hope too. Even though love is falling upon deaf ears for the time being, it isnt dead.

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