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

wholly to be a fool
while Spring is in the world

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

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

And death i think is no parenthesis

Analysis, meaning and summary of e.e. cummings's poem since feeling is first… (VII)


  1. Megan says:

    i believe that the last two verses :
    “we are for each other: then
    laugh, leaning back in my arms
    for life’s not a paragraph

    And death i think is no parenthesis”
    i think he means that we shouldnt take life so by the book. we need to actually live to die. and in terms of love, i believe he means that death doesnt stop love, it can’t conquer it. it only delays it for some time. we should rejoice in the time we’re given to spend with each other, but not mourn the passing of those around us as lost. just delayed.

  2. Roxana says:

    When I read this poem I was really awasome about it, it is beautiful! and I really enjoyed it. I feel really connected with this poem.

  3. Amber says:

    So this poem is absolutely amazing. I’m not good at interpreting poems and the meaning of them or anything like that, but the first time i read this i was moved. He is def. on my list of fav poets now. I personally think ti can be read both ways though, not just from top – bottom or bottom – top. But that’s just me.

  4. Tasha Taylor says:

    this poem has a very meaningfull feeling flowing along with it and thats what i like about poems they have to have meaning and they have to make the writter get a picture in there head of what ever it is that they are reading

  5. lucia says:

    possibly my favorite e.e. cummings poem.

  6. Sarah says:

    It is interesting read bottom to top, especially the first few lines. I believe it can also be interpreted top to bottom though. I find it interesting that he appears to be calling his love “Spring” as in when love is in the air, his whole body approves (even if his mind does not making him a fool). Then, he swears by all flowers which could be interpreted as swearing by his love and all things that make up his love. I think he is saying that love is firstmost felt and by trying to define it with words, you never wholly grasp it. He is saying you should just let yourself be a fool and accept love as it is in its innocence. I love Cummings. You pick up on new things each time you read his poetry.

  7. Katie says:

    I think that the last line means that even when a writer dies he is not wholly dead because of his writing.

  8. Maria says:

    This poem shows how syntax is not tantamount to semantics.. perhaps cummings is gesturing towards why he breaks the rules of syntax in all his poems?

  9. Lacy says:

    Read it from the last line up, then it is a good poem. I think that it is meant to be read bottom to top. Correct me if I am wrong

  10. Parama says:

    when I read the poem for the very first time, I had goose bumps! I could feel my blood stirred… It’s a poem of love and maybe its also about taking love easily but to me there lies a subtle poignant beauty which is quite inexplicable. I could find the sad and painful part of love reading this poem and literally I cried… because I felt that lovers been described here in this poem can never really belong to one another entirely for cruel reality…

  11. Jose says:

    This poem is about love, and how it determines what we do in life. The poem expresses on how we should follow our heart and emotions, before our mind and thoughts. The poem shows the beauty of love, and how it shows in life, and that life has no limits. On the other hand, in the last line, Cummings mentions death, and how it’s no parenthesis in love, and that love continues forever.

  12. Bridey says:

    I think that this poem is about the state of ecstacy experienced when you’re falling in love or are in love. The way that little things are so unimportant when the feeling of a person is involved. When you love someone you would do anything for them no matter what the consequence and the act of poetry is a way of expressing feelings, thoughts or words that cannot be said any other way.

  13. Aakriti says:

    I feel this poem about a confusion which all people poetic at heart or in love face in day-to-day life.The constant fight of mind over heart.The poet expresess how falling in love and leaving practical life behind is foolish but his blood approves of it.for him the value of kissess is more than money and indeed it is true.Feelings definately come first and often cannot be expressede.A single moment of love,being with your loved one is more special than anything else in the world.If this is foolishness than I am a fool too.

  14. todd says:

    this poem is highlighting the fact that everyone needs love in their lives and until they have that, there isn’t all that much else in life. because life is represented as a formality and even though many of us consider death to be the end, ee cummings sees it as a beginning.

  15. Joe says:

    It seems that no one here knows what the last line of the poem means.

    one definition of Parenthesis is: An interruption of continuity; an interval. This is the definition that applies to the poem. The people who said that life has no syntax and no order were right, and now that i defined the word that seems to have given many people trouble, I think you can figure out what the last line means. Hopefully i helped.

  16. carolina says:

    this poem is one of, if not, my favorite poems. it’s just so true- feeling should always come first. yes, all you need is love. it’s weird how people in today’s world will tell you this all the time and yet focus always on the job side of things- on the money, on the deadlines- on the syntax of things. if it were up to me, I wouldn’t pay attention to the syntax of things, but don’t we all the time? the message is so beautiful. the poem says love is more important than anything, even wisdom. life is not a paragraph it says, for it isn’t. it has no structure, it’s full of unedited mistakes, it doesn’t get lost in details, it just is. and death is no parenthesis- death has no explanation. death is no explanation. death is not something you can put aside and still get life. I love this poem so much. I just wish more people in the world loved it- and lived by it.

  17. Ricky says:

    “Since feeling is first” is a reference to man’s emotional reasoning and that this bias often overshadows the logics that are unable to love nor make you feel truly warm and loved. The author goes on to depict that this flawed rationality has a tendency to make one foolish (“wholly to be a fool”) “while spring is in the world” or when one is in love. Regardless, the author’s passion approves of this behaviour (“my blood approves”)and he believes that it is better to have irrationally lived and loved than to rationally (wisdom) lived in the moment.

    Moreover, the author allows himself to be engulfed by this passionate moment of life. He declares an inability to express thoughts that are as grand as a smidgen of what her beauty says(“eyelid’s flutter which says”).

    Finally, life is not a paragraph refers to the authors definition of life. He does not believe that life has that much structure (control and will) nor stands alone but rather it is an occurrence meant to be enjoyed and is regardless. The death parenthesis is the author’s reference that death is not a beginning (open parenthesis)to an end (closed parenthesis) nor does it give meaning to the precendent life that it extinguishes. The author starts this stanza with “we are for each other: then laugh, leaning back in my arms for…”. This suggest that love above all is the main meaning of their life and for life to be enjoyed they must enjoy each other and the moment where their love occurs.

  18. Krista says:

    We analyzed this poem in high school and what I got from it was that he’s pretty much just saying “let’s just be in love” plain and simple. he doesn’t want to analyze it because it cannot be, and he wants to be completely engulfed in her. he doesn’t want to think about problems or issues/obstacles that they may have. there’s such a carefree tone in the “we are for each other..” stanza and with the “life is not a paragraph…and death i think is no paranthesis” i believe that he means that dying and living are the same thing because he has that theme in many of his other poems. life can’t be seen as a paragraph and death can’t be the grammar surrounding it’s beginning and end because it is all mushed together.

  19. jina says:

    i take this poem as someone who is in a relationship with another but there are some taboos. and she’s sad because though she wants to be with him, its not what’s “supposed” to happen. but he’s telling her not to worry about the syntax of things and he who does will never fully get who she is. also, her flutter he eyelids (because shes crying) is a way of him KNOWING they are for each other even though there are taboos saying no, her tears tell him she wants it too.

  20. Life in poetry says:

    this is my one favorite poem of all time i love his rebelius oproach to poetry with his strong and classic feelings about love amazing

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