somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond

somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond
any experience,your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near

your slightest look will easily unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skilfully,mysteriously)her first rose

or if your wish be to close me, i and
my life will shut very beautifully ,suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;
nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility:whose texture
compels me with the color of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing

(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens;only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands

Analysis, meaning and summary of e.e. cummings's poem somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond

119 Comments

  1. Hendra says:

    I love that poem! (and on total unrelated topic: it also rmnieds me of the movie In Her Shoes )Anyways, I used to read more poetry and some of my favorites included Jacques Prevert, Verlaine, Rimbaud, Baudelaire And I remember vividly one of the first poems I had to learn when I was still quite young which was written by Ronsard in the 16th century (my own very fast translation follows)When you will be very old, at night by the chandelier,Sitting by the fire, talking and knittingSaying singing my verse, astonished Ronsard celebrated me when I was beautiful ( .)I will be under the earth, ghost without bonesBy mysterious shadows, I will take some restYou will be an old woman sitting by the fireRegretting my love and your proud disdainLive, if you believe me, do not wait until tomorrowPick as soon as today the roses of life

  2. Hans J. says:

    This poem is truly a masterpiece of love poetry. Though written at an rather early stage of his career it has everthing.
    Referring to comment 112, I can see no substantial evidence for this line of interpretation, neither in the poem itself, nor in the works of EE Cummings. Nature metaphors are almost always of positive meaning in his works and used in a nearly religious context. this evidence, paired with the childlike curiosity that seems all so often part Cummings observations, all that stays is a feeling of allmost breathless admiration for the woman adressed. In using nature metaphors Cummings attributes a certain level of deification to her, himself being unable to even name some the things she means. The 4th stanza in particular takes the comparison, i.e his admiration, from a nature level into an abstract religious feeling “… renders death and forever…” – obviously even based on physical sensation. Cummings is often more plain on physical matters, which again stresses his breathless admiration

  3. Dean Austin says:

    rain is so small that it can open the tiniest seed, the smallest molecule, the coldest heart, but her hands are even smaller, even more skilled, and can reach into his soul where not even rain can enter, where no one has been, not even ee the poet, and pull out from him the warmest love, and the strongest of feelings, the happiest of love, and one would suppose the most evil as well, if it’s in there… and she has found in him this poem as well…

  4. Eric says:

    Sorry, Jay. Unfortunately, you have things backwards. He says: “nobody,not even the rain, has such small hands,” meaning that the girl to whom he refers has SMALLER hands than the rain, with tiny, delicate fingers capable of opening ee “petal by petal […] as Spring opens(touching skilfully,mysteriously) her first rose.” This image of being opened by small hands suggests the subtlety of the love that cummings feels for his subject. She is able to find her way into his deepest places of thought and feeling–the heart of his flower–places where people with bigger, clumsier hands would never achieve. Thus, we see that cummings perceives great power in this lover. She finds her way into his heart in a way that is not unfamiliar to anyone who has ever been in love. This is poetry.

  5. dani see says:

    i think this is the most beautiful thing i’ve ever read.
    my favorite line of all poetry is:
    (i do not know what it is about you that closes
    and opens; only something in me understands
    the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)

    just something about that line! from the first time i read it, i have been able to quote it. i can’t wait until i feel something like that for another.

  6. Stephanie says:

    The heart is like a rose, opening and closing depending on the reaction of the lover. The rose opens and closes depending on the amount of rain. Cummings says, “no one, not even the rain, has such small hands”. (That line is one that stuck with me after I first read this poem in ’06…so intimate..!) The rain has great power and also delicacy in relation to the rose. There is intimacy in the rain, in having power over something as intimate as a rose. In metaphor, the rain is a symbol of love, which has power over something as intimate as the heart. A heart can so quickly open and close to love, it is at love’s mercy.

    ps Check out “Lonliness…a leaf falls” too if you haven’t yet. (oops did I give away the secret?)

  7. Al says:

    “I know not what it is about you that closes and opens
    But something in me understands the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses.
    Nothing..Not even the rain has such small hands.”

    What closes and opens ?
    Ans : Eyes , And each blink is a memory of the life as it unfolds in front of us. Closes so many doors

    and opens so many more.
    In real terms can mean, Each refrain of the woman he loves is an avenue for more. He is being positive

    that when it closes it opens to a new realisation in him.

    Something in me? what is this something in relation to the above.
    This disdain of his love by her results in his opening his heart to new ways of experiencing that love

    which he has for this person.

    What is the voice of the eyes? In relation to the depth of a rose.
    The eyes produce tears, these tears are both of happiness and sorrow.
    The voice of the eyes is, they reflect the state of a person, is he happy sad melancholy or yearning for

    unrequited love. I think he yearns for that love and her reaction brings tears to his eyes. Now he

    morefully describes what these tears are of which memory. The perfume of a rose is its beauty, which

    colors the eyes with love which it symbolises and the fragrance of this love is lingering. Just by

    imagining a Rose we can imagine the fragrance. SO is his love for this woman who is as fragrant as the

    perfume of a fresh rose and as dainty as its petals. Colored with time.

    Nothing.. Not even the rain has such small hands…
    on another note he says.. its all NOTHING….I am just like every other person, frail in love and easily

    hurt.
    Hands give and she gives him her hand that is so small for him, he wants more and yet realises she holds back so much, Deeper than all oceans. This realisation is happiness for the

    author, Like, Can we imagine a small childs glee while it plays with the water and mud puddles. Thats

    the glee of the author when he is understand this nuance of the woman he loves.

    In summary. I feel that E E Cummings was a spiritually awakened person, he awakened to the love around him and it found expression from various individuals. One such individual is trapped in the few lines of poem as illustrated above.
    Please note these are the feelings i gather from the poem and this may not be True for the author. I am not applying any situations to the author and its just my perception. So, If anyone finds this offensive and not in line with his/her thought. You are free to draw your own expression as i did mine.

  8. stacey says:

    You’re missing a stanza break. This is my favorite poem. It’s the best poem ever written. The least you can do is post it write. PROOF READ!

  9. al sinque says:

    I really can’t find words to fully explain this poem, but that doesn’t matter, all I can say is that i have loved this poem (unknowingly t’was a poem) eversince I was in Grade School.. heard it in a song entitled ” The first time I loved forever” by Lisa Angelle, I actually research it, and happened to fund it right in front of my test paper during college.. Thanks to my English Professor.. til now I do keep a copy of that paper! … the only poem that touched my heart

  10. Jay says:

    The last line of this poem is the most interesting and complex line of the entire poem, but I think I may have an answer for it. “nobody,not even the rain…” is describing the girl in this poem. She is the rain. Earlier E. E. metaphorically described himself as a flower, and the girl can open him up. What is one thing the opens up a flower? Rain. The last half of this line says, “has such small hands.” In the same stanza of this line Cummings is perplexed about what it is about her that opens and closes, but he truly believes that there is more to her than what meets the eye. When he says that she opens and closes, he is describing her behavior. She teases him and makes him believe that her emotions do not run deep. E. E. does not fall for her games, and believes that there is more to her than what she portrays. Cummings closed himself as fingers, and therefore he knows she does not have “small hands.” No one can be that shallow. Everyone hides their true emotions, and they won’t truly open up and let them out as they should.

  11. cynthia says:

    i wish ee were still alive… i think this poem is about love and its power over us. love is something abstract, something we cannot touch or see. but it compels us to open or close like a flower. i still wish we can all ask him though… sigh

  12. GIRA DESIA says:

    Cummings wrote from his heart…and soul…from within his own mind and feelings..he poured out what filled him up… some good some painful…some beautiful…some tragic…what he wrote he lived and through his sometimes twisted, sometimes confusing, sometimes misinterperited, sometimes mispelled and tangled….web of words… we all are able to be taken in by his ability to captivate each of us enough to wrote comments here…we could have kept our thoughts to ourselves…but we didnt…we shared…maybe not caring realy who would read them later on…but enough to write the words outloud…to express our feelings on how we were made to feel by his ability to make us do just that…and that is the true magic & beauty of everything that the brilliant word artist writes and stood for…dont just seize the day- seize the moments…

  13. Amanda says:

    i love this poem so much… it takes my breath away!

  14. Ginger says:

    Unfortunately I did travel there once, and it brought great heartache. But it was still worth it. Love is sometimes bittersweet. This poem is exactly what I feel for this person, for some reason he touches something that no one can and I let him go. Cummings was a genius to be able to put love and the way it can touch us in such terms.

  15. stefanie siering says:

    these beautifull words inspired me a lot to my artwork .thank you,mr cummings

  16. brokenopen says:

    i have heard of this poem out from a famous song but it mattered so much to me now that i understand what it means when i myself been to an experience where i have loved so much but then so unfortunate that i cannot have his love. though i am in pain, though i am sad, i never regret a thing for i was happiest when i met him. the experience led me to a great discovery of myself, of this life, of love…it taught me to be brave and gave importance of honesty…and so i quote “i do not know about you that closes and opens, only something in me understands, the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses, nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands”.

  17. Tin says:

    The best poem ever written. My favorite. I simply fall in love with every words and inspires me to hold on with what matters. That love is beyond physical aspect, it’s more of the inner being. The self, The soul.

  18. Jason says:

    I’m here, three days before my wedding, to copy this poem for our program, since I introduced my wife to this poem years ago. I stumbled across the comments section, and began reading some of the posts. On page 10, I find this…..

    Comment 12 of 103, added on November 19th, 2004 at 11:25 AM.

    I was in high school when I first came across this poem. It was a Senior English class, and we were going through a poetry lesson. My teacher was impressed I had already heard it and asked the class how to interpret it. Again, I was the only one with a raised hand and probably the only one who gave a damn and wasn’t nodding off. Anyways, from then on he called me the ‘poet lauriate’ and it was such an honor since he was an amazing teacher that is now retired.

    Jenn from United States

    Now this “Jenn” who posted this comment, unbeknownst to me almost three years ago, is a longtime friend and will be a bridesmaid at my wedding. The teacher she speaks of is my father, who I also learned the poem from in high school. Wow, sometimes life takes bizarre turns. Thanks, mr cummings, for speaking a language that’s truly universal.

  19. Emily says:

    From our point of view it is as if the relationship is one-sided. He being so in love with everything about her he is blind to the fact that she doesn’t give anything in return. But maybe this is what love is suppose to be. If you are truly in love you should be under the other person’s spell, and blind when it comes to their flaws because they are small compared to their perfections.

  20. 12345 says:

    Beautiful!

  21. Nikkole Rathkamp says:

    I first read this poem my Freshmen year of high school, and my English teacher had the last line tattooed on her lower back. I have loved the poem ever since. It’s just a beautiful poem. I think it’s about that one person you come across in your life who you trust enough to let them into your life totally. It is, in my opinion, about love. The last line kind of sums it up “nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands”, meaning no one but you can penetrate my soul to the softest parts, no one can know me like you, and no one can enter my life and be as influential as you. It’s beautifully put.

  22. Morgan says:

    Maybe I’m alone in this, but when I read this poem all I can see is a man who thinks he’s in love, but is actually in an abusive relationship. The man cannot resist this woman–he submits to her because he is forced to. Her eyes are silent–she doesn’t show herself to him. Rather than being windows to the soul, her eyes hide the truth of her personality. He is taken in by her frailty, but it is “intense” and possesses “power,” implying that she’s isn’t actually frail at all but instead very controlling. She renders “death and forever” for him. And despite the conventional four-line stanza set-up, the poem contains numerous misspellings and mispunctuations. Though this is common for e.e. cummings, I think coupling it with the conventional arrangement is suppose to convey a feeling of unsmoothness, as though something is inherently wrong, unrealized by the speaker. But that could be just me.

  23. wolfamoz says:

    I’ve had some people around me say that they thought this poem was about love, babies, death. I seem to think, after looking into his life history briefly, that the poem is likely about his last, common-law wife Marion Morehouse. He had a few bad marriages to some seemingly rotten women who kept divorcing him and one who denied him the right to see his baby. The fact that his baby was born in 1919 and the poem was written in 1932 makes me think it probably isn’t about the baby. He met Marion in 1932 in the same year that his then wife Anne Barton divorced him in a Mexican court. Since the marriage wasn’t recognized in the States until 1934, he couldn’t officially marry Marion. The fact that Marion stayed with him for the remaining 30+ years of his life adds credibility to the poem being about the one woman who allowed him to open himself to her unlike the other women who preceded her. I’d like to know what others think about that.

  24. anonymous says:

    um, i had to memorize this poem for english, and when i asked my dad what it meant he said it had something to do with love. i have never been in love (i am 12 years old) so i find it hard to relate. i’m sure it is fantastic, but i cant seem to get to the meaning in a way i can relate.

  25. Kate says:

    When I read this poem I thought of a baby just born.

  26. mourning rose says:

    i wanna share to the whole world how glorious it is to have a painful forbidden love.. a love that is so strong but which u cannot call ur own.. i have this one great love and it began when we’re fifteen, twelve years had passed yet it never fades but grew intensely.. we parted ways, i got married but for all these years i carry him in my heart… he’s my dream… im his love.. the whole world may keep us apart but we knew, deep in our hearts, we’ll never love again like we did, like we still do and we will always stay in love this way.. come what may…

  27. downer says:

    i wish someone would love me like this. but love doesn’t exist. only security. and lust. not love. 🙂

  28. Jean Reif Robinson says:

    I fell in love with this poem the first time I fell in love, when I was twenty-one. I memorized it then and still, 44 years later, can recite it by heart and with enthusiasm. First love may not last in the flesh, but when a poem like this takes you by the heart, it is forever. This poem is meant to be said aloud to best appreciate the exhilaration of the language which matches the exhilaration of the message.
    God rest ee cummings.

  29. aj says:

    what can i say? this is the perfect love poem for someone whom you can not keep forever, for that someone who happens to be the greatest thing that has ever come into your life, for that someone whose memories will be more than enough for you to say that life is good and it is indeed worth living and dying for, for that someone whom i call SC. what a way to possess and at the same time not to possess that someone.

  30. Byron Frederick says:

    I am a happily married 60 year old man and I have loved this poem since I was 17. I can finally relate to the first lines. A delightful woman that I work with is having a very strong effect on me. I feel helpless to resist these emotions. She must remain a foreign country, “somewhere i have never traveled”. The intensity of her effect on me is greatly increased by the fact that my feelings must remain secret. The childlike innocence of the love expressed in this poem has helped me to enjoy this experience and allow it to remain “gladly,beyond any experience”.

  31. chelsea says:

    are there any words? i can’t say anything but that it’s beautiful, for no words would come close to defining it- he’s used them all already.

  32. Cindi Lewis says:

    of all the poems i have ever read, this by far is the most moving. the poem itself is a beautiful mastery of words, but the meaning transcends the page and relishes the subject to which it is directed to. may i attin beauty one day that captivates someone so breathlessly.

  33. Kim says:

    I love this poem it is one of my favorites.

  34. Monica says:

    i will forever be in love with this poem.

  35. chaka choko chiki says:

    chong kei chong kei sochong kongchoi che koi chokoi choki chokla shoklash chiokla chaka charut kacharutan echusan

    in short, i loved it.

  36. kate says:

    beautiful. so much meaning it so little text. genius

  37. Nancy says:

    I was given this poem by a man i knew only a week. I had been going through a emotional time and was fragile. I’ve always been told I talk with my eyes. Whenever this man is around me, he stays only 10 minutes or so and it seems he has to leave my presence. He said his hormones start to kick in. Does he love me or does he have lust in his heart? How am I to know? I understand it all except for the rain has such small hands. To me , he is saying, I have never met anyone like you and I could easily love you.

  38. Gee says:

    perfect combination with the song “The first time I loved forever”…… makes one see things in a beautiful perspective…

  39. marlonus999 says:

    totally awesome!
    One of my Favorites..

  40. guerdon says:

    this is my favorite poem of all time, and i do believe it to be the best love poem ever written; never mind poetic construction deviation– love simply overrides any convention anyway. listen to the poem being recited while your eyes are closed… you’ll know what i mean.

  41. Deborah A. says:

    Really? A love poem? Well, I guess. But I always thought that it was about witnessing the death of someone you love.

  42. charisse says:

    this is one of my favorite poems.cummings certainly know how to play with words.a syntactical analysis perhaps would help one understand the meaning of this poem.but to me,this poem is as mysterious as the rain’s small hands.

  43. Grace says:

    I thought it might interest some to know that the replication of this poem is just a little off in it’s printing. As with much of his work, Cummings chose to override prescriptive grammar, and things like punctuation and capitalization might appear incorrect. For example the first line reads: “somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond” I think the deviation from his original work is ignoring a central component to his art form and creates something entirely different, like painting Mona Lisa frowning.

  44. dwain says:

    quite simply, the best poem ever written.

  45. Mark says:

    This stuff really helped me as I’m writing a comparative analysis between “The Glass Menagerie” and this poem, with special emphasis on the epigraph.

    Anyone have anything that wasn’t already said to point out to me? Any help would be appreciated.

  46. Yakov says:

    The last lines of this poem: “nobody, not even the rain has such small hands” played a crucial role in igniting a passionate relationship with a woman to whom I later became engaged . These were lines I remembered when I wanted to send her a short meaningful telegraph at one time. She, being a poet herself, was quite impressed. She thought that I had written them!…This poem’s strength lies in its successive vivid contrasts, each of which is founded on equally vivid concrete natural images… “…which I cannot touch because it is too near” evokes the truth of how the immediacy of overwhelming presence is ironically something which, out of our incapacity and unprepared ness in coping for such personal intensity, actually creates a type of awe-filled DISTANCE through the awareness of our inability to adequately respond to its call…The images of “unclosing, “opening “and “closing beautifully” evokes the very real experience of how sensitive love, like a flower responding to light, can move us through every stage of receptivity and closure in a way that m creates every one of these states, in us, as a thing of beauty…”The voice of all roses” is that subtle aroma of love which in its very, barely noticed transforming potency, is in fact a “voice.”…The last lines are stunning in their evocative power. The far-because so awesomely near, potent because fragile, vocal because silent, amorous power of love, is engendered by that ultimate contrast which is evoked by the final line: “hands” are the organs of power and yet they are most powerful when they are sensitive enough–“small enough”–to permeate into our very selves. Like the “hands of rain”–small as drops, which become ever smaller as they seep right into our skin.

  47. yakov newman says:

    The last lines of this poem: “nobody, not even the rain has such small hands” played a crucial role in igniting a passsionate relationship with a woman to whom I later became engaged . These were lines I remembered when I wanted to send her a short meaningful telegraph at one time. She, being a poet herself, wes quite impressed. She thought that I had written them!…This poem’s strength lies in its successive vivid contrasts, each of which is founded on equally vivid concrete natural images… “…which I cannot touch because it is too near” evokes the truth of how the immediacy of overwhelming presence is ironically somethng which, out of our incapicity and unpreparedness in coping for such personal intensity, actually creates a type of awe-filled DISTANCE through the awareness of our inability to adeqauately respond to its call…The images of “unclosing, “opening “and “closing beautifully” evokes the very real experience of how sensitive love, like a flower responding to light, can move us through every stage of receptivity and closure in a way that m creates every one of these states, in us, as a thing of beauty…”The voice of all roses” is that subtle aroma of love which in its very, barely noticed transforming potency, is in fact a “voice.”…The last lines are stunning in their evocative power. The far-because so awsomely near, potent because fragile, vocal because silent, emorous power of love, is engendered by that ultimate contrast which is evoked by the final line: “hands” are the organs of power and yet they are most powerful when they are sensitive enough–“small enough”–to permeate into our very selves. Like the “hands of rain”–small as drops, which become ever smaller as they seep right into our skin.

  48. noe says:

    The poem is not about love. It is about adoration, a man humbling himself to the woman’s “intense fragility,” allowing the woman to “close and unclose him” as she wishes.

  49. Shawn says:

    my favorite poem ever!

  50. panama2 says:

    Interesting you ended up as comment 69. Yes yes poetry is so subjective and cummings is a sexist. He should have said that the lover openend him as spring opens and closes its first penis. What would you expect him to say. But your right let’s take all reference to roses and rose petals out of poems. At any event kudos to the commentary. As much as I love this poem, I enjoy reading opinions of it (like 69’s) even more).

  51. Jocelyn says:

    I first heard this poem as read by Ron Perlman reading it as he portrayed the role of ‘Vincent’ in the 80s TV show ‘Beauty and the Beast’. It has stuck in my mind since but it was only recently that I found out who wrote it.

    Thanks to the internet I have been introduced to other great works by Cummings. However this will always be my favourite.

  52. Flávio Martins says:

    Zeca Baleiro form Brazil is one of the bests poets in the world, and he is a fan of cummings. He saw Hannah and her sisters of woody allen and have been fascinated with this poem, and then made a music with the poem…the name is Nalgum Lugar….check it out…thanks

  53. serene santiago says:

    the poem is rich with imagery. but dont you think e.e. cummings is a bit sexist? the images project a different picture epecially the 3rd line, 2nd stanza: you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens (touching skillfully, mysteriously) her first rose.

    throughout the poem, it gives us different connotations on love and sex. well, that’s just my comment.. poetry is subjective 😉

  54. Karen says:

    I’ve always found this poem beautiful but I never truly understood it until I fell in love….

  55. Mary says:

    I think this poem is great. It seems to speak to its reader in a soft and gentle voice. It makes you realize that love is much more than just a word but rather an intense feeling of completelness.

  56. cha says:

    hmmm…. this poem is quite passionate…. i don’t like it that much though….

  57. Kortnee says:

    Something about this poem strikes me in a way undescribable; I can only hope I could evoke such feeling to someone someday as is expressed in this poem.

  58. mark says:

    This poem is a yery romantic piece. It expresses a stong and active feeling towards someone so special.

  59. pete says:

    it’s definitely not finished.

  60. yayo says:

    what does it mean, nobody exactly knows, how can u cry over a stupid poem. dont pretend it is something that it is not

  61. Jonathan says:

    This is the most beautiful poem I have ever read in my entire life. It says everything about the most deep and meaningful of all human connection, and connection is the most rewarding prospect in life. No other word to describe these words than…beautiful.

  62. THEMBAKAZI says:

    poem was my worst but after i read e.e.cummings i changed my mind.This is overwhelming

  63. David says:

    Just to let you know, there is a beautiful portuguese version of this poem in a song by Zeca Baleiro who is himself quite amazing. The song is called Nalgum Lugar which means roughly Somewhere. The song is how I first found out about the poem. I didn’t know it was an english poem by ee cummings until I ran across a commentary on some Brazilian site.

    I too am glad I found this poem. It really is breathtakingly beautiful, but not in any way sappy like so many lesser poems. Even in another language this one will make you cry.

  64. Bobby says:

    I think no analysis can possibly encapsulate the beauty of this poem. All we can do is bask in the power of its genius, and aspire to make our love just as profound. I, for one, feel blessed at its existence.

  65. Maryanne says:

    this is one of the most beautiful poems i have every read . . . i cannot read it without sobbing from its tenderness and mystery

  66. Sarah says:

    The beauty of this poem is that ee gives us the image of the mystery of love and how we perceive it. He uses springs first rose as a metaphor of himself and there is something about his lover (the mystery)that opens him, which is the mystery of love and how delicate it truly is.

  67. Rose Ann says:

    i never saw and felt such intense emotion ever before until i read about “somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond”. i heard this poem being narrated in the song “the first time i loved forever” and it was so beautifully spoken… i was so intrigued with it, i almost cried when i discovered that it was a poem after all! i decided that when i get married, i want it to be included in my testimonial to my future husband. tis is a poem like no other… so unique and exceptional only someone who is truly inlove with someone or maybe inlove with Love can create a poem like this…
    this poem has the universal theme that love is the strongest emotion of all..not to mention that it was also the most exceptional gift the Eternal One gave to us. For love is the essence of our existence… That we wouldn’t have existed without love. The entities which escaped from pandora’s box had long been defeated by a love that is so pure and true. He who loves is the mightiest.

  68. tania says:

    cassidy – i totally agree. this si such a great love poem. I put an exerpt from it in my wedding bulletin. when i got married.

    louise – but isn’t that the beauty of a great poet, one that stands the test of time? The fact that cummings can express amazing depth and meaning and at the same time make the actual sound of the words and the imagery so beautiful is what separates him from the medicore. Sight, Sound and Compression – the three elements that create wonderous poetry.

  69. cassidy says:

    cummings if my favorite poet, and perhaps one of the few i actually read. this poem is my favorite. i think it is discussing the way that this man’s lover has the power to open his closed soul. he used to be hesistant to open up to love, but some unexplainable circumstances cause his lover to get deep inside of him. this is represented most strongly, i think, through the second stanza. maybe i’m just partial to interpreting it this way because i can relate. comment and let me know what you think.

  70. louise says:

    I don’t think the last line should be read so literally,it is as much about the sound of the words,as it is to their possible meaning.It’s such an exquisite and enduring image isn’t it?

  71. tania says:

    I think that final line is designed to express the overwhelmingly beautiful and moving feeling that the narrator experiences when touched by his/her lover. the physical feeling is so soft/gentle/deep/penetrating/whatever, that it is comparable to a raindrop landing on your skin or perhaps a raindrop landing on a petal (hence the folding and unfolding) although it is near impossible for human touch to recreate the delicacy of a raindrop, their love (or the lover?) is so pure and true that it has the power to imitate the beauty and wonder of nature. with the same impact that nature seems to exert upon the narrator. which is quite amazing, in his/her opinion.

    does that enlighten? do you agree with me?

  72. Aurora says:

    Can anyone explain to me what the last line
    .. “nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands,” is supposed to mean?..i don’t understand that.

  73. Sun says:

    I can never seem to get enough of this poem. I’ve read it more times than I can count.
    Everytime I read it I feel like I’m in on a secret…..like I was, for a moment, given the privilege of peeking into someone’s soul

    I see it as a man describing with great delight, the intense power his lover has over him.

  74. Melisia Beukema says:

    I am writing a paper about this particular poem and how the writer is right about what costitutes true love. Any information e-mailed to me will help!

  75. Joy says:

    The first time that I was able to read it is when I choose it as my report in our English class.For me it is about a person who is being in-love and satisfied w/ him or her and not having to search any one.

  76. k* says:

    haha hello the Glass Menagerie is a play written by Tenessee Williams. It’s a fascinating play, go read it!

  77. Albert says:

    I have read this inumerable times and had almost sent it to the love of my life. Nothing I have ever written compares to this nor do I expect anything will ever compare to it. To tare it apart line by line or word by word would be a travesty like cutting up a Renoir to understand its composition.

  78. rhurl8ml says:

    I am reading this poem at a friend’s wedding. I think the meaning can be about finding someone moving and being satisfied with him or her and not having to search any longer.

  79. Geoff L. says:

    I found this Poem while searching for one as a project for class. Once I found it I thought it was wonderfully contructed! The commas meaing small pauses, and giving it that extra UMPH! This Poem should be taught to every High School in the world!!

  80. sellami mustapha says:

    somewhere I have never travelled

  81. Lorraina says:

    Does anyone else see the potential that he is talking about the sexuality between him and his lover in this poem? It is a very beautiful poem and i was wondering if anyone else saw that in it besides me

  82. Mike says:

    The most beautiful poem in the English language

  83. Louise says:

    What a lovely poem, I don’t understand it quite yet, but i’ll keep trying!

  84. John says:

    I think cummings has the heart of a child, the more I read of his poems, the more I am convinced that his gleeful and unashamedly sensuous prose is a true gift.
    I think that as with all truly great love poetry, like Shakespeare’s sonnet 29, or cummings own “since feeling is first” They say things we wish we were capable of saying, and surround us with images that we want to beleive in, whether they are real or not.

    I think the poem itself is fairly self explanatory:

    “your slightest look easily will unclose me
    though i have closed myself as fingers,
    you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
    (touching skilfully, mysteriously) her first rose”

    “the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
    nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands”

    If you read the verses offset you get different meanings, but I see the poem as a way of saying that no matter what he feels, or tries to hide, the woman has but to look at him, and he, like the flower, opens to to her.

    “nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands”

    If you like this, however, check out Rainer Maria Rilke, especially “letters to a young poet” magical stuff.

  85. scottstandridge says:

    I am a 35 year old man, and this poem is so beautiful it makes me cry. Not figuratively, LITERALLY. I am weeping. God, this is so damn perfect. As someone implied above, it makes me happy that the world exists, so that this poem can exist in it.

  86. kitzbill says:

    can anyone tell me what “the glass menagerie is”? some of the comments refer to the epigraph of the the glass menagerie as the last line of one of cummings poems (nobody,not even the rain has such small hands)

  87. k* says:

    yes i just came across it today too, that last line appearing as the epigraph [is that what you call it!?] for the glass menagerie. i believe it is to emphasize the delicacy of the person cummings is talking about, her gentleness moving him beyond words, perhaps her fragility arousing a lsight pretective instinct in him, her vulnerability. in the context of the glass menagerie, it could be a reference to Laura and her fragility [remember her lack of sel-confidence?], also her delicacy and love in handling her glass figures. i’m not quite sure, what do you think?

  88. Rachel says:

    hi, can anyone tell me what
    nobody, not even the rain has such some hands
    means as it is the epigraph of The Glass Menagerie, can anyone shed light, btw I didn’t really get the peom :S

  89. Arshad says:

    It is a lovely poem which when read give you happiness that this universe exists somewhere

  90. dennis says:

    It has been with me for many years. In times of loneliness and times more generous. Only Corad Aiken’s ” This is the Shape of the Leaf ” provides that mute palpability that is ” Somewhere “. If I could write but one poem in all the ones I’ve read then this would be it.

  91. Felissa Johnson says:

    The first time I heard this poem was when a few lines of it was read on an episode of Beverly Hills 90210 when the characters “Kelly” and “Brandon” were about to get married and “Brandon” read it to “Kelly”, and I knew then I had to access the entire pooem and I am glad I did, because it has become one of my two favorite poems. So beautifully written, this poem is so georgeous, I wish I had written it myself.

  92. Tiffany says:

    I dont know if anyone noticed bc i couldnt read all the post but Did anyone look at how many loves one can apply this to A mother/son a dad/daughter Bf/GF God and Im sure there is more all i can say is cummings rocks out I wish i could have met him and he is so antiscience its great

  93. Kirstie says:

    It is very moving to me to find people who love this poem as much as I do. I also first came across it in “Hannah…” but have since read the complete works and love all his poems. But this is without doubt my favourite poem of all time. I think that ee cummings is the person who taught me how to feel.

  94. trincee says:

    i think this poem is for a baby, this poem touches me in a way unfathomable, very heartwarming, soo beautiful, this is my favorite poem of all time.
    first time fathers can relate to this.

  95. Niall Duffy says:

    I heard a bit of this poem years ago from “Hannah and her Sisters” and it captivated me. It popped back into my head tonight because of feeling I am having for a lady.It sums up what I am feeling so I had to send it on to her

  96. Don Galivan says:

    This is my favorite poem. To me, it says everything you can say about being in love. What brilliant expression of feelings. It makes me want to be a poet.

  97. Mary Murphy says:

    To me, this poem is about the Holy Spirit, opening and closing our souls at Will and for the glory of God.

  98. stephanie hamilton says:

    i love this poem cause it reminds me of my boyfriend…

  99. cathy says:

    this poem is truly captivating!!! there’s really magic in it that the one reading it would eventually fall in love!!! behind those words is a portrait that gives a deep meaning!!!!!

  100. catherine says:

    the first time i heard this beautiful poem was when i was listening to a captivating song(which actually one of my favorites>>the first time i love forever..

  101. fran says:

    this poem is for the one i love deeply, for all that he is to me and for all our possibilities together. the magnitude of emotions expressed in this poem is the closest thing to describe in words what true and complete love is. if love is authentic power in our lives, so is surrender to it. we open and shut very beautifully each time… with love renewed, with hope lifted and with passions burned. to my little island in the sun..i love you completely..

  102. Peter says:

    i have read this poem about a hundred times and i will read it a thousand times before i die. ee cummings must be madly, hopelesly in love when he wrote this.

  103. fran says:

    this one’s for you CV whom i love deeply, beyond words,beyond all my realities, beyond this plane of existence. i am forever yours. and the magnitude of this very conflicting yet very exulting realization is certainly joyfully celebrated in this particular poem.

  104. James says:

    I have adored this poem for many years, as perhaps cummings’s most tender love poem. Evocative in using the simplest of language to convey deep feeling, it is a rite of passage for me. I sought it out today as I have found myself in an unhappy leave, and like many great works of art it can offer a sense of connectedness to a larger world–a reminder that we are not alone in loving, in surrendering ourselves to strong feeling and thus to another.

  105. M Docherty says:

    When I first met this poem I thought of it as a beautiful revelation of love between lovers.
    It now so much to me as a poem spoken to a child,my child.

    The notion of being “opened” by small hands,speaks so profoundly of the mystery of motherhood and the vulnerability of that opening.

    It speaks gently of the aching love you feel for your child together with the feeling that the child,in fact,controls you as the sun controls the opening and closing of a flower.

    What a beautiful poem.

  106. Yesica says:

    This poem is the most beautiful love poem that i have ever read. I was doing a report on e.e. cummings when i came across the poem. I didn’t understand his other work. But i love this poem it’s so sincere and so beautiful it’s just hard to explain what you feel when you read it.

  107. annabel says:

    does anyone know when cummings wrote / published this poem? it is truly lovely and expresses, i believe, what many women hope that the men they love will see in them.

  108. Kanesha says:

    This is the single most beautiful poem I have ever read!

  109. mel says:

    this has to be one of the most beautifully worded poems ever written. it speaks of a love so strong and understanding that it hurts. the words are so delicate and fragile that it seems like reading the poem might break it. we all find a different meaning in e. e. cummings words, and we are all moved by how beautiful they are and the love that he speaks of.

  110. Jenn says:

    I was in high school when I first came across this poem. It was a Senior English class, and we were going through a poetry lesson. My teacher was impressed I had already heard it and asked the class how to interpret it. Again, I was the only one with a raised hand and probably the only one who gave a damn and wasn’t nodding off. Anyways, from then on he called me the ‘poet lauriate’ and it was such an honor since he was an amazing teacher that is now retired.

  111. Lingus says:

    this poem gives me goosebumps…

  112. John says:

    This poem is one of my great favourites and one that I frequently recite to my partner before sleeping. It contains stunningly gorgeous imagery and speaks of an enormously deep love of a woman on every possible level. Maybe his most autobiographical poem?

  113. Kelly says:

    This is my favorite poem of all time! I read it to someone once and the person didn’t understand it. To me it’s like reading someone’s soul. So for now I keep this poem to myself, not to be confused by strangers or dirtied by persons. But someday I’m sure I’ll hear someone say thier soul to me and a match will be made. Only then will I share this again. I’m glad to see this treasure is enjoyed by others and isn’t just written to me. You know what I mean.

  114. Dimos says:

    I met this poem through Susanne Abbuehl’s album “April” where some other e.e.cummings poems can be found. Surrender, admiration, protection, the paralysis of emotion. If I still had her I would whisper this one to her tonight.

  115. Rupert Tamayo says:

    This is my poem for my baby.My wife is three months pregnant.E. E. Cummings described the emotion i have now that soon i’ll be a father. The innocense and fragility is deep and sincere. My wife is due on May 2005 so my baby will definitely hear this soon.

  116. Sara says:

    This is one of the few pieces ever written that accurately portrays the kaleidoscope of emotions love brings. An emotion without words is here put into some of the most simple and beautiful ever commited to paper.

  117. Kay Thomas says:

    I address this poem to GOD, and sing it as a prayer.

  118. Smitha says:

    E E Cummings just knows how to put those simple words together to put across a very deep and beautiful thought.

  119. Hiero says:

    This poem is gorgeous. It is one of my favorites. Cummings is the man!! The speaker in this poem is a trip.

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