if everything happens that can't be done
by E.E. Cummings
Stanza 4 Summary
Get out the microscope, because we’re going through this poem line-by-line.
now i love you and you love me
- Oh, so that's what has changed. Our speaker is in love, and that love is what has made forever seem possible.
- Now, before you shy away from the cheesy love poem cliché, think about the poem you have read so far. Is it your typical hearts and flowers love note? Hardly. The rest of this piece is so twisted and complicated that we'll just have to let our speaker get away with a corny moment or two. He has earned it.
- Of course, we also have to point out that this doesn't necessarily have to be romantic love. He could be talking about family love, or love for a friend, too.
(and books are shuter
- The books are back. But this time the speaker is using a made-up word to talk about them. Don't even try looking "shuter" up in the dictionary, because you're probably only going to confuse it with "shutter." Also be careful when you look up this poem on the Internet, because this word is misprinted on many websites as "shutter."
- But even though we can't look up the word "shuter," and might never know exactly what it really means, we can guess that it's pretty different from "shutter."
- "Shutters" are those wooden things on the outside of windows, which can be opened or closed at will. But "shuter," we're going to guess, means that books are more shut, or more closed, than books normally can be. Just think – if the speaker had used the word "shutter" instead of making up a new one, we might have been even more confused. Yikes.
- So all the books are shut tight and abandoned in this world of forever and oneness. After all, the world around us seems to know far more than the books that try to tell us about it.
- At this point in the poem, your English teacher might be regretting her reading choice for your class. A poet is rejoicing that books are shut? Oh dear.
- But remember: just because books are shut doesn't mean that there isn't knowledge to still be found. The speaker just thinks that knowledge is better found in nature, and in love, than in books. Fair enough.
and deep in the high that does nothing but fall
- Get ready to stretch your mind into the world of surprising opposites once more.
- First, the speaker says we're "deep in the high." Huh? This doesn't seem to make sense. Normally we're deep in depression, or in a lake, not in the high of happiness or the sky.
- But we know by now that we can't really expect our speaker to make perfect sense, so maybe "deep" in the high just means that we're really, really soaring.
- This "high" could be emotional or physical. It could be drug-related, but considering all of the intense emotion already present in this poem, it doesn't seem as though drugs would really be necessary to make our speaker feel so high.
- Then what does this high do? It falls. This bursts our bubble a bit. We thought we were in love and happy in this world with a disregard for books and conventions forever. But turns out, height – of love, of emotion, of a paper airplane, of anything – only falls. Maybe this poem isn't as forever happy as we thought.
(with a shout
around we go all)
- If we follow the second set of lines in parenthesis through each stanza, it seems like they're taking us on a roller coaster. We've run and skipped through the lines, questioned what, which, and who, flown all over the place, and now we're shouting as we go around.
- The "we" in these lines makes us readers feel like we're part of the poem, enjoying the same questions and emotions, the same shouting and go-round, as the speaker.
- Even though we don't totally have a context for what's happening here, we can follow the emotions and go along for the ride.
- But we should also consider the fact that now that we know that there are two lovers in this poem, the "we" could be this couple. Uh oh. Are we the third wheel?
there's somebody calling who's we
- Now that "we" has shouted and gone all around, that same "we" is calling. Maybe this call is the same shout from the lines before, maybe not. Either way, the "we" that's calling is actually a "someone."
- Or… (Shmoop brainwave alert) what if this "we" is referring to the idea of "one" from earlier in the poem? Maybe, for the lovebirds in this poem, the idea of someone who's "we" calling means that they're turning from being two people, from being a "you" and an "I," into one person, a "we."
- This transformation into "we" is calling the lovers, bringing them closer.
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