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's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #1)

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.)

estoverl's profile pic

Posted on (Answer #2)

Cummings, a master of manipulating language to create unique poetic forms, most often wrote of love, childhood and flowers. He is known for the playful, cryptic way that he used words. This poem is no exception on either count. 

In this poem, Cummings speaks of falling in love, perhaps with someone who has no knowledge of his love. With lines such as "your slightest look easily will unclose me though i have closed myself as fingers, you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens" he seems to be falling unexpectedly and perhaps reluctantly in love.

Throughout the poem he uses the symbol of her eyes and hands as the elements that draw her to his love. He compares his heart attempting to close but then opening to her love as a flower opening in spring. In the last lines, he expresses his wonder that she can so easily open his heart. With the line "nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands," Cummings expresses that only she can get to his heart and can do so more easily than the rain reaches a closed flower bud.  


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