i am a little church(no great cathedral)
far from the splendor and squalor of hurrying cities
-i do not worry if briefer days grow briefest,
i am not sorry when sun and rain make april

my life is the life of the reaper and the sower;
my prayers are prayers of earth’s own clumsily striving
(finding and losing and laughing and crying)children
whose any sadness or joy is my grief or my gladness

around me surges a miracle of unceasing
birth and glory and death and resurrection:
over my sleeping self float flaming symbols
of hope,and i wake to a perfect patience of mountains

i am a little church(far from the frantic
world with its rapture and anguish)at peace with nature
-i do not worry if longer nights grow longest;
i am not sorry when silence becomes singing

winter by spring,i lift my diminutive spire to
merciful Him Whose only now is forever:
standing erect in the deathless truth of His presence
(welcoming humbly His light and proudly His darkness)

Analysis, meaning and summary of e.e. cummings's poem i am a little church


  1. Jill Brooks says:

    I believe with all my heart that this poem is about self, and is one of his most moving works. Self, at peace with the world, and full of faith.

  2. jessika miller says:

    im usingthis poem for a project in english. i think in a way it uses symbolsm, you dont have to be big to be important. whatever it is i love it

  3. Lyman says:

    Did anyone else pick up on his use of a capitalized god (Him) in a poem with his trademark no other capital letters. Strange for the son of a Unitarian minister of that era or not?

  4. Nicholas F. Russotto says:

    As an organist in a small church, this embodies wonderfully the spirit of such a church.

  5. Jane L. Hill says:

    I was introduced to this poem while visiting a remote Congregational church on east Maui–the Hui’aloha church. In my ministry to small congregations in rural settings I find discouragement in not being able to do ” everything that has been done in the past. We are just too small and too old”. This poem gives permission to “be” just what you are, to continue to dance to the rhythm of time, love and contentment.

  6. Allison Montgomery says:

    I used this poem to write an essay and i found that the imagery displayed in this poem is something that i can relate to. The image of an unassuming, country church is something that i find comforting and it reminds me of the not so distant past.

  7. Edgar Hix says:

    I love reading this piece out loud. In a church setting it has rarely been heard by most of the audience. My way of reading it is to start out in verse one slowly and thoughtfully. Verses two and three become the quickest, line 7 being the fastest and line 10 not being far behind. Those two lists of ____ and ____ and… let you deal with each word as an emotional power point. Get some body language in there. raising your arms higher with each word is one way of emphasizing the build up. The rest of the poem is a slow down again until you are reading the last verse similarly to the first. However, the last verse is one of quiet strength and should sound that way. Again, watch that body language. Straighten your spine. If you’re standing behind something, consider finishing from memory, or take the book in hand, and step closer to the audience.

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