Almost every human being born on our planet was given a gift of romantic love at least once in a lifetime. Being in love is the condition when even the most hardened pragmatics feel themselves capable of temerarious deeds in order to impress their beloved, to make him or her smile. And during this period, most of us, people dream about writing a poem in honor to of the object of passion. Many of us even write the products of this inspiration down, but after reading them, we understand it’s no more than a bunch of words linked by that little understanding of rhyme most of us possess.
Fortunately, Edward Estlin Cummings didn’t belong to that talentless majority. His poems dedicated to the beloved women brought joy and pleasure not only to their hearts and minds, but also to the souls of thousands of the worshippers of poetry. Quite a bunch of love poems went out from under his formidable pen, but the one, called ‘Somewhere i have never traveled, gladly beyond’ is one of the most well-known ones.
Scientists argue for whether his once wife was the inspiration for this work of art, or it was some other women, but still this piece of poetry expresses the things most of the man would like to say to their beloved woman, but couldn’t find the words to do it. Some men are afraid to fall in love with a woman, as they feel as the object of their feelings will be able to take control of their life. They are afraid of that ‘power of … intense fragility’ that every woman possesses over the man who loves her.
Edward Estlin Cummings wasn’t scared to be possessed by those hands, which are smaller than the rain’s, it’s rather that he gave himself into the hands of his bellowed woman, getting all the possible positive experience from this condition. When I first read this poem a word for the woman, described in the poem came to my mind, which was “mistress”, a woman, whose power is in her fragility. This poem is written by a first person narrator, the author describes his own feelings towards the object of his passion. The author of the poem is marveled by the impact that woman makes on him.
Thus, the tone of the poem is admiring and even a little worshipping. The person who decides to get acquainted with the Cummings’s poems should remember that this writer uses an extremely rich imagery system in his verses. Some of the researchers even claim that “the love poetry of E. E. Cummings is well known for specifically using flowers to describe a woman’s sexuality or the innermost `self. ”(Everything2 Website). And it’s true, that in the ‘Somewhere i have never traveled, gladly beyond’ he uses two main image systems which are human anatomy and nature. He compares his woman with flowers in order to emphasize her tenderness and beauty.
One more characteristic feature of Cummings’s poetry which’s clearly expressed in the ‘Somewhere i have never traveled, gladly beyond’ is paraphrasing. The writer sometimes ignores the rules of the English language in order to express his feelings, to make the reader understand better the feelings and emotions that overfill him. The unconventional sound of his phrases make the reader return to them again and again in order to understand why the author had organized his writings in such a way, which gives the reader better chance to understand the message expressed by the author.
As this poem is a lyric, and it’s written in an open form, some critiques say it is of no great value, but most poetry lovers value the artistic and imagery filling of the poem much higher than its conformity to the common poetry standards. In the first four lines of the poem the author explains he feels that the object of his feelings possesses the knowledge of something the writer never had any idea of, something really simple, but impossible to understand for him, ‘which (he) cannot touch because they are too near’.
The next quatrain tells us this woman is capable of revealing the deepest feelings and thoughts the author has just by being near him. In the next eight lines the poet explains the nature of her power, which’s her ‘intense fragility’. In the closing quatrain Cummings tells that her beauty is one more source of her power. ‘your slightest look will easily unclose me though i have closed myself as fingers’ – the poet writes. In this lines the concept is expressed that has been proved by the experience of centuries.
Through all the history of the humankind, which was created, as it’s officially thought by man, women had influenced all that crucial decisions that changed the lives of millions of people on the Earth. It often happened that the mistresses, wives or sultanas were those, who actually ruled the states because of the tremendous influence they had on their man. The older I become, the more I understand about the woman’s influence on their husbands, sons and brothers. My mother has never openly opposed any of my decisions, even if they were wrong and harmful in her opinion.
She always agreed with my claims at first, but than, gradually, she made me think about the reasons why I wanted to do this or that thing, and about the consequences of my actions. Her ‘intense fragility’ was the way she used to make the man in her family act sensible and rightful. The men have always been the thrillseekers. The nature of this longing is nowadays explained by the biologists and genetics, but women knew that for thousands of years, maybe even on some subconscious level.
For the man to be interested with the woman her eyes should ‘have their silence’ ‘somewhere (he) have never traveled’, ‘gladly beyond any experience’. And it’s quite understandable for me, as in my opinion the communication between the partners should enrich both of them, and it’s impossible when they knew each other thoroughly. It is said that all of those, who are deeply in love, are like the blind, they are sick with their happiness. The man, who loves is ready to get the star from the night sky for his darling, or to dedicate her wonderful poem.
Those, who are really in love, are really happy, as they know for sure they’ll be together forever. Edward Estlin Cummings and his wife Anne Barton got divorced in a year after this poem was written. Their relationship didn’t survive the period needed for the ink this poem was first written with to fade. Still, today, dozens of years after the death of the poet, his wife and their relationship we open the book to read: ‘the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands’
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