since feeling is first

by E. E. Cummings

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Metaphors in e.e. cummings' "since feeling is first" expressing love and death

Summary:

In "since feeling is first," E.E. Cummings uses metaphors of punctuation to express his views on love and death. He states, "life's not a paragraph/and death I think is no parentheses." These metaphors suggest that life is too complex to be summarized briefly, and death is not a mere aside but a significant, impactful event. Cummings emphasizes emotion over reason, valuing love and beauty as life's most important aspects.

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What metaphors does e.e. cummings use in "since feeling is first" to express feelings about love and death?

Cummings uses language ingeniously to relate his feelings about love and other aspects of life.  In "since feeling is first," a love poem, he uses the metaphor of punctuation to describe his feelings.  At the very end of the poem, he states, "for life's not a paragraph/and death I think is no parentheses."  These metaphors lend themselves to many in-depth interpretations.  For life is not a paragraph, that could mean that life is not a short summary of things; a paragraph is too concise and tiny to hold all that life has.  A paragraph is limited; it can only relate so much information.  Life is not like that--it is entirely, overwhelmingly full.  As he states above, even "your eyelids' flutter" has so much beauty in it that he could go on and on about it for quite some time.  Add that to all else that life offers, and indeed, a paragraph does not suffice.  Paragraphs also follow an order, a specific format, and life is not that predictable.

For death is no parentheses, think of the times that you use parentheses.  Usually, you use it to insert random, sometimes irrelevant tid-bits of information that aren't really pertinent to the main idea or point.  You can take the paranthetical reference out and the meaning of the sentence still remains.  Death is not like that at all--it is a huge, dramatic, meaningful event.  It doesn't just slip in and happen to people and not change the lives of those around them.  It is more like a bolded declaration with an exlamation point--DEATH!!--instead of a parenthetical aside--(death).  Death is not a side-note on life, it is a definite end, something that changes everything and impacts everyone.  To refer to it as parentheses is to ignore its impact and importance.

I hope that helped; good luck!

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What are the two powerful metaphors in e.e. cummings' poem "since feeling is first"?

In the poem "since feeling is first," E.E. Cummings intertwines two powerful metaphors to express his belief that emotion is a more reliable perspective from which to examine issues of life and death than reason. The two metaphors he uses are the written word and the idyllic scene of sharing kisses with a lovely lady.

Cummings evokes the image of words on a page to stand for reason, using words like "the syntax of things," "paragraph," and "parenthesis." These images represent "wisdom," "the best gesture of my brain," and Cummings suggests that a person who relies on a rational approach to understanding the world is "wholly to be a fool." Cummings prefers to "pay attention" to his feelings, the passions in "my blood," the beauty of "Spring," his lady's "eyelids' flutter." These things enable him to be "wholly kiss(ed)," to "laugh," and to experience fully what is important in life and ultimately more powerful than death, which "is no parenthesis." Beauty and love are more significant to Cummings than wisdom as it is traditionally defined by the rational mind - "feeling is first," and in the end, the most important.

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What love metaphors does Cummings refer to in "since feeling is first"?

In "since feeling is first," a love poem, e.e. cummings uses the metaphor of punctuation to describe his feelings.  At the very end of the poem, he states, "for life's not a paragraph/and death I think is no parentheses."  These metaphors lend themselves to many in-depth interpretations.  For life is not a paragraph, that could mean that life is not a short summary of things; a paragraph is too concise and tiny to hold all that life has.  A paragraph is limited; it can only relate so much information.  Life is not like that--it is entirely, overwhelmingly full.  As he states above, even "your eyelids' flutter" has so much beauty in it that he could go on and on about it for quite some time.  Add that to all else that life offers, and indeed, a paragraph does not suffice.  Paragraphs also follow an order, a specific format, and life is not that predictable.

Life, in this poem, can be replaced with love--cummings uses them interchangably as far as meaning goes.  So, everything that I stated above about life, can also be applied to love.  That is the metaphor for love in this poem.  If you look at who he is talking to, (he addresses "lady" in the poem) and how he focuses on kisses, and her eyelids, you can conclude that the life he is referring to is the love he feels for her.  To clarify--the metaphor for life and love in this poem is that love is not a parentheses.  Another possible metaphor for love is Spring (he says that when Spring is in the world, all else is wonderful.)  Comparing it to flowers is an off-shoot of that spring metaphor. I hope that helped; good luck!

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