| Quote #1
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
This line really captures the sort of feverish confusion that love can sometimes cause. All this girl has to do is twitch a little, and the speaker feels completely surrounded by her presence. What's crazy is that she feels super-close, but he also feels like he can't touch her. See what we mean by feverish confusion?
| Quote #2
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
Yo, check out Cummings using the clichéd symbol of a rose in a love poem and actually managing to make it cool. Notice how he flips around gender roles here by making the presumed male speaker the one who opens like a flower. This makes the erotic imagery that comes along with the image of a flower opening even more complex.
| Quote #3
or if your wish be to close me, i and
In a lot of love poems, you'll hear about how awesome a lover makes a person feel, or how terrible if it's a break-up poem. Here, though, Cummings pulls a neat trick by making something that's typically negative—closing off emotionally—into something positive. The speaker seems to enjoy the fact that his lover has so much control over his emotions.