Study Guide

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

  • Love

    i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
    my heart)i am never without it (1-2)

    From the very beginning, we notice the way Cummings is using language and punctuation to further his idea of unity and love. The parentheses and adjacent words are squished together to suggest the inseparable nature of the speaker's relationship with his lover.

                                                 i fear
    no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet) (5-6)

    By the second stanza, we hear more of the idea of love being part of a larger picture. The speaker fears no fate because his lover is the world to him. So, no matter what happens to everything else, his fate can never be feared so long as he has his "sweet."

    here is the deepest secret nobody knows
    (here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud (10-11)

    Love is the "root of the root," so it's therefore the foundation for everything else. And it's the "deepest secret nobody knows" because it's so darn mysterious and yet so essential to our livelihood.

  • Language and Communication

    […] (anywhere
    i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
    by only me is your doing,my darling) (2-4)

    All the parenthetical clauses give us reason to suspect that there's more going on here than just the additional details. We sense that all the playing with parentheses is allowing us to hear two slightly different voices. But since what's inside and outside the parentheses sounds so similar, Cummings is able to further the unity motif even more.

                                                 i fear
    no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
    no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true) (5-7)

    Here we get some of those linguistic paradoxes Cummings loves so much. First the speaker includes "i fear" only to immediately negate that fear by saying "no fate." The same thing happens in line 6 when he says, "i want," only to negate that with "no world." So we've got a classic example of Cummings saying, "it is, but it isn't."

    (here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
    and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
    higher than soul can hope or mind can hide) (11-13)

    We've got a lot of that "of the" clause that effectively makes us think bigger each time the speaker uses it. He doesn't need to include different words, or even separate the clauses. So it's almost as if we're growing with that "tree called life" each time the speaker expands his initial idea with "of the."

  • Awe and Amazement

    and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
    and whatever a sun will always sing is you (8-9)

    These lines could have very easily become a romantic cliché with the moon and the sun. But Cummings makes them ultramodern by questioning what a moon is supposed to "mean." So the speaker is amazed by his love but he's still a bit real and modern.

    and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
    higher than soul can hope or mind can hide) (12-13)

    As the speaker's amazement of his love grows, so does this "tree called life." In fact, he's so amazed that not even his "soul" or "mind" can fully grasp the extent of how much his love has affected him. So the world is looking pretty cosmic to us at this point.

    and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart (14)

    It wouldn't be an awe-inspired poem without a little "wonder," right? And the way the speaker phrases this wonder that's associated with the stars is also ultramodern. Notice that he's not talking about stars in his lover's eyes. Instead he imagines how love "keep[s] the stars apart." So we've got yet another modern, but still awesome, way of looking at the world.