Tag Archives: cummings

And one to read out loud… “may i feel said he”

A glorious poem by E. E. Cummings – great fun to read out loud. Originally published in Cumming’s 1935 No Thanks collection, may i feel said he is one of the poet’s most original and best loved works. The punctuation is like that on purpose. Watch out for the single capital letter that makes the whole thing.

may i feel said he

may i feel said he
(i’ll squeal said she
just once said he)
it’s fun said she

(may i touch said he
how much said she
a lot said he)
why not said she

(let’s go said he
not too far said she
what’s too far said he
where you are said she)

may i stay said he
(which way said she
like this said he
if you kiss said she

may i move said he
is it love said she)
if you’re willing said he
(but you’re killing said she

but it’s life said he
but your wife said she
now said he)
ow said she

(tiptop said he
don’t stop said she
oh no said he)
go slow said she

(cccome?said he
ummm said she)
you’re divine!said he
(you are Mine said she)

.

E. E. Cummings, I carry your heart with me

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)

It might look as if the punctuation and flow is all screwy, but this is in fact enjambement at its best: a way of breaking a line between two verses and forcing the reader’s eye to move on to the next sentence. Meaning flows as the line progresses. It’s very pretty.