Favorite poems: i like my body when it is with your body

I took my first creative writing class as a junior in high school, and that’s where I first encountered the poems of E.E. Cummings. In fact, Cummings was one of the first poets i can remember reading.

One of my favorites is “i like my body when it is with your body.” The poem combines a certain playfulness and technical ingenuity. And as a hormone-laden teen, of course, the topic can’t be beaten: “i like kissing this and that of you,/i like slowly stroking the shocking fuzz/of your electric fur.”

And even though their styles are quite different, Cummings here reminds me of Walt Whitman in the way his lyricism shines through.

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~ by ericedits on January 27, 2008.

2 Responses to “Favorite poems: i like my body when it is with your body”

  1. some of my favorite parts of cummings’ work has been his play with grammar and punctuation that disassembles words, creates multiple meanings and uses tricks like adverbs describing nouns.

    then there are his sound plays that remind us that these poems are to be heard as well as read.

    Picasso
    you give us Things
    which
    bulge:grunting lungs pumped full of sharp thick mind

    you make us shrill
    presents always
    shut in the sumptuous screech of
    simplicity

    another brilliant aspect of his work is the assonance that he uses in place of rhyme.

    yes is a pleasant country:
    if’s wintry
    (my lovely)
    let’s open the year

    both is the very weather
    (not either)
    my treasure,
    when violets appear

    love is a deeper season
    than reason;
    my sweet one
    (and april’s where we’re)

    e. e. cummings

  2. Largely influenced by his religious upbringing Cummings “set feeling against thinking and offered it as the route to wholeness” (Milton). For this reason he remained in history as the greatest American lyrical poet of the twentieth century. Cummings’ love poems are a direct expression and representation of sexual intercourse and celebration of unity without them becoming pornographic. Instead he develops a delicate and nostalgic atmosphere where intercourse is highlighted by a sublime love that merges the two bodies into “a quite new thing”.

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