Monday, November 02, 2009

e.e.cummings: i carry your heart with me


I just had to put out this poem by e.e.cummings. For a few days, the opening lines have pounded through me -- not like a mantra -- but with its very own, strong rhythm. What strikes me so, I think, is a combination of an almost naïve serenading of the I's beloved and the amount of courage it takes to stitch such simple, open words to the world's most terrifying experience: that of being in love. And then to publish the poem in all its straightforwardness - stout heart, mr. cummings-bard!

The imagery of the poem is clear and almost concretely solid, with its sun and moon, fate, soul and tree of life. Almost like the illustrations of a childrens's book.

"I carry your heart with me I carry it in my heart" - such simple but strangely strong words. The repetitiveness and the insistence on the word heart beats through the whole poem and contributes to the archetypal imagery which makes up this poem's stem, its own tree of life.
The last sentence (before the first sentence is repeated) is liberatingly expansive. The sun and air and immense black space of existence always gushes in through my chest when I read this. That the power of our own care and love is the strength which keeps the stars apart - what a freeing thought.


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 with me(i carry it in my heart)
**

11 comments:

Lyle Daggett said...

e.e. cummings was the first poet whose work I read in great depth, many years ago after I'd been writing poems of my own for just a couple of years. I was struck by your comment of the images in the poem being "almost like the illustrations of a children's book." It occurs to me that I've found that same quality in much of cummings' work.

I found your blog when I Googled "Norwegian poetry," which took me to a post of yours from 2008, here, where I've posted a somewhat longer comment.

I don't know if you have your blog settings set to receive e-mail notifications of comments to previous posts, so just mentioning here that I've also entered a comment on the previous post of yours at the link above.

Thanks for posting this. I'll come back and read more.

Thekla said...

Hello and thank you for your feedback. I saw your other comment as well, and have applied the original Swedish version of Tranströmer's poem there, as your comment made me aware of that particular poem once again.


So - thank you.
T

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ayumi said...
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Lee Shin said...
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