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What is the theme of the poem "somewhere i have never travelled" by e.e. cummings?

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ysa662 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 11, 2009 at 12:04 AM via web

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What is the theme of the poem "somewhere i have never travelled" by e.e. cummings?

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

Posted March 11, 2009 at 12:37 AM (Answer #1)

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I absolutely love this poem by e.e. cummings.  At heart, it is a love poem.  It has themes of love, faith, and nature, and he melds them all to relay the message of how he feels completely exposed, vulnerable, and in her power whenever he is with her.  Though that may not seem like a good thing, he uses such beautiful images to describe it, and matches it up with his profound feelings for her, that it all works together to be a beautiful and deep testament of his love.  This message of vulnerability and being in her power is exemplified as he compares his life to flower petals:

"your slightest look easily will unclose me though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skilfully, mysteriously) her first rose"

He feels that his life is a flower that is being opened and exposed by something as simple as her look. Along the same lines, he is completely within her power:

"or if your wish be to close me, i and my life will shut very beautifully, suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;"

Both of these stanzas emphasize the vulnerability he feels in her presence, but it's okay, because it is a beautiful and amazing thing to him. He is deeply moved by her; he feels that she "renders death and forever with each breathing", and he finishes off with the great last lines, stating,

"the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands"

It's a very unique and thought-provoking love poem with the message of turning your entire life over to your loved one, for them to do with it-close or unclose-as they like, and how that is a beautiful and moving act of faith and love, all described using beautiful images from nature.

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