my father moved through dooms of love

by e. e. cummings
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What are some quotes from my father moved through dooms of love by e. e. cummings? This is a study guide question posted by eNotes Editorial. Please identify and analyze at least 3 quotes in your response.

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In this poem, the poet himself seems to be the speaker, eulogizing his father—albeit in Cummings's unique style—by describing his father's way of living and loving rather than by describing any details about his father's life that might normally be included in a eulogy (e.g., his occupation, his family, his hobbies, and so on). When the poem begins, the speaker says:

my father moved through dooms of love
through sames of am through haves of give
singing each morning out of each night
my father moved through depths of height

When he says that his father moved through dooms of love, I think he is using the word doom in the sense of a judgment or a decision; his father made every decision in his life or judgment of others either with or in love. The next line, referencing sames of am and haves of give, seems to me to suggest that Cummings's father saw similarities rather than differences among individuals and that he gave all that he had to help others and to make the most of his own life. He would rejoice in each morning and operated on what seemed to be a higher spiritual plane than most. (This makes sense because Cummings's father was a Unitarian minister who preached transcendentalist values.)

The speaker's father seems to have been quite a compassionate and sensitive man, as the speaker says:

and should some why completely weep
my father's fingers brought her sleep:
vainly no smallest voice might cry
for he could feel the mountains grow

His father, evidently, was able to comfort people who were deeply pained and upset, and no one cried in front of him in vain. Anyone who came to him with their problems would meet with someone who took them seriously and treated them compassionately and sensitively. When Cummings claims that his father could feel the mountains grow, it seems to suggest, figuratively, this heightened level of emotional sensitivity.

Apparently, anyone and everyone recognized these special qualities within the speaker's father. The speaker says:

his flesh was flesh his blood was blood:
no hungry man but wished him food;
no cripple wouldn't creep one mile
uphill to only see him smile

His father, the speaker admits, was just a human being, but he was so good and kind that even a hungry man would wish for food for him—that even a person who could not walk would be willing to crawl in order to catch one of his compassionate smiles. The poem tells a story of a life well lived: of a man—just a man—who chose to live with love for others in his heart and so changed the world.

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