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In the poem "Since Feeling is First" by E. E. Cummings, what is the theme and the ideas...

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brownshorty | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 3, 2009 at 2:25 AM via web

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In the poem "Since Feeling is First" by E. E. Cummings, what is the theme and the ideas that the poem is trying to address?

Here is the poem.

since feeling is first
who pays any attention
to the syntax of things
will never wholly kiss you;


wholly to be a fool
while Spring is in the world

my blood approves,
and kisses are a better fate
than wisdom
lady i swear by all flowers. Don't cry
—the best gesture of my brain is less than
your eyelids' flutter which says

we are for each other: then
laugh, leaning back in my arms
for life's not a paragraph

And death i think is no parenthesis

2 Answers | Add Yours

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mrs-campbell | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted May 3, 2009 at 2:28 PM (Answer #1)

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The main theme behind this poem is logic versus emotions.  And, Cummings feels that emotions are much more powerful, joyous, and worth paying attention to.  He addresses the poem to a woman who he feels very connected to, and states that "my blood approves" of the relationship, and "kisses are a better fate than wisdom."  Even if his brain, and logic intercedes, and tells him all of the reasons that he should be cautious, or that they shouldn't be together, or the many, many reasons that they are unsuited or a bad match, he believes more in her "eyelids' flutter which says we are for each other."  He is telling her to stop worrying so much, stop thinking so much, and that "the best gesture of my brain is less than" the pure feeling and emotion of being with her.  He wants her to trust the feeling of happiness they have, to "laugh, leaning back in my arms" and to enjoy the time that they have together, and to leave all the fretting and worrying behind.  Life can't be calibrated and organized like "a paragraph", so they should just enjoy it in all its happy chaos.  I hope that those thoughts help you to understand the poem a bit better; Cummings can be difficult, as he throws all grammar, punctuation and conventions to the wind and writes in a very unusual style.  But, I hope this helped.  Good luck!

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erico9994 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted July 27, 2011 at 4:46 AM (Answer #2)

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This poem's just kinda bad...

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