Study Guide

[i carry your heart with me(i carry it in] Language and Communication

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Language and Communication

If we're talking about E. E. Cummings, you better believe we'll be dealing with some sort of issue with language and communication. "[i carry your heart with me(i carry it in]" is no exception, even if it's more focused on the idea of love. But with all the squishing of words, parentheses, and the playing with language, we know Cummings is taking a poke at those linguists.

Questions About Language and Communication

  1. How do we know from the very beginning that Cummings is looking to experiment with the way language and punctuation affect our reading of a poem?
  2. How does Cummings shock us into having "fresh eyes" for his poem? Does all the zany syntax and poetic form still shock us in the 21st century? 
  3. What's with the whole "it is, but it isn't" tactic Cummings uses throughout the poem? How does he create linguistic paradoxes? Why do you think he does that? 
  4. Are we at all distracted from the poem's theme of love because of all the nuances of language and communication? Why or why not?

Chew on This

Love again? Yawn. Though love is the central theme of the poem, Cummings is obviously trying to provide a very different way of looking and thinking about love through his use of language.

It's too close to call, y'all. It's a toss-up between love and language being the central theme to this poem, since we're constantly being shocked into "fresh eyes."

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