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if everything happens that can't be done

if everything happens that can't be done

by E.E. Cummings

Love Theme

As we near the end of "if everything happens that can't be done", we discover that our speaker is in love, and suddenly we understand why this poem has been so full of joy. He loves, and is loved, and in that love feels that nothing is impossible, and that the world is wonderful. You just might want to keep this poem in your back pocket come next Valentine's Day.

Questions About Love

  1. Would you call this poem a love poem? Why or why not? Is the speaker romantically in love? Or is he talking about some other kind of love, or a more general kind of love?
  2. How do you think the theme of love relates to all the references to books in this poem?
  3. How does the writing in the second set of parentheses in each stanza relate to love, or not?
  4. How does the idea of "one" relate to the overall theme of love?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

This is not a love poem. Instead, it's a poem about knowledge, and where that knowledge is best found.

Everything is happening that can't be done because the speaker of this poem is in love. He's on Cloud Nine.

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