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. 12345 says:

    Beautiful!

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Kate says:

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

  7. 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…

  8. downer says:

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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”.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Kim says:

    I love this poem it is one of my favorites.

  15. Monica says:

    i will forever be in love with this poem.

  16. 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.

  17. kate says:

    beautiful. so much meaning it so little text. genius

  18. 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.

  19. Gee says:

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

  20. marlonus999 says:

    totally awesome!
    One of my Favorites..

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