if everything happens that can’t be done

if everything happens that can’t be done
(and anything’s righter
than books
could plan)
the stupidest teacher will almost guess
(with a run
around we go yes)
there’s nothing as something as one

one hasn’t a why or because or although
(and buds know better
than books
don’t grow)
one’s anything old being everything new
(with a what
around we go who)
one’s everyanything so

so world is a leaf is a tree is a bough
(and birds sing sweeter
than books
tell how)
so here is away and so your is a my
(with a down
around again fly)
forever was never till now

now i love you and you love me
(and books are shutter
than books
can be)
and deep in the high that does nothing but fall
(with a shout
around we go all)
there’s somebody calling who’s we

we’re everything brighter than even the sun
(we’re everything greater
than books
might mean)
we’re everyanything more than believe
(with a spin
alive we’re alive)
we’re wonderful one times one

Analysis, meaning and summary of e.e. cummings's poem if everything happens that can’t be done


  1. Clarence Bagley says:

    I took a Poetry class in college. Didn’t want to at the time. That was in the 70’s. To this day I remember the professor reciting this poem the first day of class. It touched my heart, but as a black guy living in Inglewood,Ca., I never could express myself to my peers of course. This is one of my favorite poems! I could not for the life of me remember the Poet’s name. Today I found out. What a great Christmas present.

  2. Sue Hilton says:

    Inspired. Totally and wonderfully inspired. Nothing to add. Nothing to subtract. Just plain inspired. Period. (can you say period in an ee cummings review)

  3. scheherazade says:

    it has all these paradoxes….just like love…longing and wanting to go on longing for someone, for example…

  4. Grace Seitzer says:

    This is one of a handful of poems with a religious theme that place cummings among the sublime poets. Yes, it is about love and it also is about the God Who is Love. The very first line places it in the realm of mystery, a reaching out to the power that is above and beyond–and yet, within and between. What better metaphor for the sheer joy of discovering Love than that of children bursting from the schoolhouse into the wonderful freedom of recess? It is carefully crafted, with the first part of each stanza straining against the “books” that tell us what we must do and know, and the second half bursting with the joy of freedom, the discovery of who we really are. I have been known to go on and on–but go find all this for yourself.

  5. Andrew says:

    This poem seems sort of similar in concept to cummings’ poem “since feeling is first” with the whole love is indescribable kind of theme.

  6. parastoo_farrahi says:

    I think that this poem is about love the speaker wanted to say his love to the girl that he loves her very much he discribe this love and its feeling.he wanted to say that love and its feeling is very greater than any thing in this world .love is very greater than putting in the form of words and saying in the book ther is no book to say love to have a right concept of areal love . he wanted to say that if we discribe love inthe form of book or by words it lost its value.I think that the title of this poem says that this girl don’t care to his love very much it wanted to show that she loved him but try to fade it becouse of her shame and that is the thing that have value for him and he loved it coz he believed that if she show it apearently this love lost its value.and it become cheap . in line 19 he said that every thing in this world has no value in comparesion with this love .in line10 he wanted to say that love and its emotion has no question,reason,its an emotion that comes to your heart and you have no answer for it . you can’t discribe this emotion of love .in line 29he said that he knew that the girl love him but because of her shame or pride she didn’t show it and it had value for him.coz it shew that she was not a cheap girl.in line 45 he said that thier love id wanderful the thing that he believed in it.in line 37 he compared their love with sun light to make a high value for it and to say that thier love is unique and it is as beautiful as the sun light and to say that there was no love in the world that was as great as thiers.and he wanted to say that his love is as clear as the sun light and without any tricking and cheating.

  7. Shirley M. Guyer says:

    I feel so fortunate to have finally after years of searching find the quote” and birds sing sweeter than books tell how” I had heard it as “and birds sing sweeter than words can tell” at a bird club meeting and I was told e.e.cummings was the author. I really like the whole poem and am so happy I found it. Shirley May

  8. liz says:

    in the second stanza the second to last line should be “around we come who)” unlike the first stanza which is “around we go yes)” Also, the first line of the third stanza should be “so world is a leaf so tree is a bough” just thought you’d like to know!

  9. Huesif says:

    This is my analysis (rough)

    e.e. cummings
    “if everything happens that happens that can’t be done” suggests a love that is
    greater than that which can be described and is at a higher level than books
    refer to (or the love that is said to be possible), and suggests both the
    existence and power of it.
    Throughout the poem it seems because the clauses are broken up with the
    statements in parenthesis it will be easiest to change the two sides
    (parenthesis statements and the rest of the verse) into two voices because the
    parenthesis voice has an optimistic feel I will refer to it in that manner. The
    other voice will be the narrative voice.
    In the first stanza the narrative voice claims that “the stupidest teacher will
    almost guess
    there’s nothing as something as one.” So first of all the
    narrator is stating that most everyone know that an individual has an extreme
    amount of potential. The optimist states, in the same stanza, that, “(with a run
    skip around we go yes)” This gives an impression of love and particularly young
    love. In the fourth stanza even the narrative voice states, in a less artistic
    sense, “now i love you and you love me” This indicates not only that that it is
    a love poem but also that there is a level of conflict between the lovers (and
    their love) and society’s knowledge of love’s boundries and downfalls, and
    because their love is, “righter than books could plan” they are set to defeat
    the standard set for love.
    In the second stanza the narrative voice decribes the conflict while the
    optimist tells of their love growing. The narrative voice says, “one hasn’t a
    why or because or although” these are all words used in conflict of
    communication. Society knows that two people have to discuss in order understand
    the thoughts of the counterpart; however one must only understand for
    themselves. “(and buds know better than books don’t grow)” indicates as one must
    throw out the idea that “buds” are not buddies, but instead are buds in the
    sense of a rose bud or the bud of a bush or tree. We receive this indication
    later when the narrative and optimist voice speak of nature and nature’s beauty.
    “Books don’t grow” but relationships are ever-changing and hopefully
    ever-progressing. And if two buds, or two lovers, “know” than they “know better
    than books. The two are able of a higher standard than the standards of love
    society has set. Buds is a strong choice of words not only because it shows
    nature in beauty but also a bud is full of possibility, for when it blooms only
    then can one describe the beauty it is capable of. The optimist is not only more
    sure of their love, more artistic but also more of a rebel to the standards. The
    optimist says that buds know better than books and describes them as buds,
    believing in something greater than they are already.
    The next line in stanza two the narrative voice makes a shift not only in tone
    but also in confidence of their love. The narrative voice states, “one’s
    anything old being everything new” this puts an emphasis on the idea that
    naturally when two people learn about each other and are truly in love the
    “one’s anything” is “old” but now becomes new because the other learns it. Also
    the things that one once did, and has become old, now become new as it is
    redone. For instance two “buds” have both probably gone ice-skating on their own
    but now that they are together it must be redone, and it is a new experience
    because they are together.

  10. James says:

    It is an eternal quest, but so far, no poem I’ve read expresses the sheer visceral, quivering excitement of being in love. Cummings tells us that emotions can’t be taught, live life by what your heart tells you. The penultimate line never fails to bring a tear to the eye.

  11. aine says:

    you sent me this months ago.. i’ve read it but i haven’t commented on it…

    i just want you to know that i love you hon.. and yes forever for me was never till i met you. i love you hon.

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