e.e. cummings on valentine’s day

I admit that I’m a bit of a curmudgeon and cringe at those saccharinely-sweet jewelry ads that pound the television this time of year. Today, I would much prefer to binge watch the new season of House of Cards than to eat another stale slice of red velvet cake, but with that all said, I do love me some e.e. cummings poetry.

This past issue of Vanity Fair features as an excellent excerpt from Susan Cheever’s new book about the poet, who was also a friend of her father, novelist John Cheever. E.E. Cummings wrote some of our best modern love poetry. I share with you one of his most well-known and a personal favorite.

***

[i carry your heart with me(i carry it in]

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
                                                 i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)
***
further reading…
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8 comments

  1. I like e. e. cummings, enough so that I don’t cringe when people use his poetry at their wedding (like I do when people quote Wuthering Heights – have they read the book?). Although I would eat a stale piece of red velvet cake, it’s my favorite.

    Also, I hate jewelry ads. Love doesn’t look sentimental or romantic in them, they make it look like love can be bought or that the certain love must come with a certain carat size.

    1. Good grief–I haven’t heard of Wuthering Heights being quoted at weddings.
      When I wrote this, I had just had a very disappointing piece of red velvet cake. Here we differ. I enjoy it but I think there are far better cakes.

      I roll my eyes when I see those jewelry ads. Gag me with a spoon. It’s like having a five year old imagine their idea of love.

      1. You’re right – it’s chocolate with salted caramel frosting, but red velvet ranks up there if it has good cream cheese frosting (hard to find, but great to have).

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