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In the poem "since feeling is first" by e. e. cummings, according to the speaker of...

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cheyennebell1 | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 4, 2011 at 3:29 AM via web

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In the poem "since feeling is first" by e. e. cummings, according to the speaker of this poem, what is better than wisdom?

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amarang9 | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted March 4, 2011 at 5:40 AM (Answer #1)

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In the poem, the speaker says kisses are better than wisdom and her eyelids’ flutter is better than the “best gesture" of his brain. Kisses and the flutter are expressions of emotion. They are not filtered by logic, wisdom or the formulaic structure of syntax, paragraphs and intellectualizing. The speaker is saying that emotional gestures are more spontaneous and therefore more sincere than a structured thought. He makes an analogy between the constraints of syntax and grammar on poetry with the constraints of wisdom on emotion. For emotion and/or poetry to be free and experienced to fullest, they must be free of these constraints, or as the speaker says:

who pays attention

to the syntax of things

will never wholly kiss you:

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