somewhere I have never traveled,gladly beyond

by E. E. Cummings

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What metaphors are used throughout the poem "somewhere I have never travelled, gladly beyond," and what are they comparing? Are the images presented in these metaphors typical for a love poem?

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There are several metaphors in this poem. The speaker describes having "closed [him]self as fingers," comparing himself to a closed fist which his lover has the power to "unclose." This is a relatively fresh metaphor, but it is paired with a more conventional one expressing the same idea: the speaker imagined themselves as a "rose" whose "petal[s]" are peeled back by the lover. In this image, there is a further metaphor in which the lover is compared to Spring. Spring usually connotes newness and vitality; here, it seems to suggest that the lover brings a freshness to the speaker's life, ushering in a new season for him and opening him up emotionally, just as spring brings roses into bloom.

This imagery of seasons and flowers is continued in the following stanza, the speaker presented as "this flower." The lover has here become "snow," a metaphor for her colder and more negative emotions which cause the "flower" of the speaker to close itself up again, afraid of rejection or of being touched by coldness.

Ultimately, then, while Cummings's language uses unique constructions particular to the poet, we can recognize imagery and metaphor here which can be found in many love poems, based in ideas of flowers and the seasons.

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There are several clusters of implicit metaphor in this poem. First, the lover’s body as a journey of discovery; "Somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond any experience";

Second, the poet as a natural plant, blossoming and growing (as Spring does to flowers) in the lover’s presence, a rose, a flower, going through the same stages as a flowering plant.

Thirdly, the lover’s presence as a power to open the poet, to make the poet rediscover his powers of observation and comparison. The last line, the most famous of all the lines of the poem, is the strongest metaphor – loving you is a natural phenomenon, like Spring rain.

Actually, despite Cummings’ unique treatment of these metaphors, he takes advantage of the universal images present in love poems since the beginning of literature: rose, snow, rain, Spring, etc., as well as the time-honored practice of praising the physical features of the lover – small hands, fragility, deep eyes, etc.

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