© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
[i carry your heart with me(i carry it in]

[i carry your heart with me(i carry it in]

by E. E. Cummings

Tree Called Life

Symbol Analysis

Yes, it's a romantic cliché we've probably heard a thousand times. But the one Cummings refers to is like a super tree of life, since it grows "higher than soul can hope or mind can hide." It's also founded on love, which makes it even more mysterious and extraordinary. So his tree of life is also a tree of love.

  • Lines 10-11: The roots of this tree run deeper than anything else. It's the "root of the root," so we're talking about something beyond dirt and worms. And what's beyond that? Love, of course.
  • Lines 11-12: We get that all the roots and buds are symbols for the foundations of life. And the foundation of life's foundation is… love. Love as a unifying force connects the roots with the sky and the "tree of life." 
  • Lines 12-13: And since the tree is founded on love, it grows "higher than soul can hope or mind can hide." So we're talking about something beyond our earthly realm. Love is pretty cosmic at this point and can outmatch reason any day.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement