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What is the meaning of “nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands” in...

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matchep | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted April 25, 2012 at 1:04 PM via web

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What is the meaning of “nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands” in "somewhere I have never travelled" by e.e. cummings?

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wordprof | College Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted April 25, 2012 at 4:23 PM (Answer #1)

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This delicate poem works with small, fragile images to compare the narrator’s love to the listener; his experience with her is unique not because of great size but because it reaches him in small places never before experienced.  The early image, “in you most frail gesture are things which enclose me” we see the contradiction (a Cummings trademark), the use of unexpected comparisons.  The final line of the poem completes this comparison—even in something as small as a raindrop (and rain is a collection of small raindrops—“small hands”--into a soaking, overwhelming experience) I see how your every movement, every gesture, every flutter of your eyes is touching me, holding me in a million tiny embraces like raindrops in a rain, only smaller.  (Trying to paraphrase these images demonstrates how imaginatively and delicately Cummings puts words together in his poems.)

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