Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I carry your heart

Since our children have left home, I am often sad. This poem comforts me a bit, though it also makes me cry.

It would probably make E E Cummings cry, too, since he called himself e e cummings and didn't really go for capital letters or punctuation. But I put it as our "Poem of the Week" on the noticeboard at work (and heavens, it's hard enough to persuade our students to use punctuation without poets giving them dangerous ideas) so I "improved" it (sorry, e e). This is that version.

I CARRY YOUR HEART by E. E. Cummings

I carry your heart with me. (I carry it in
My heart.) I am never without it. (Anywhere
I go, you go, my dear; and whatever is done
By only me is your doing, my darling.)

I fear
No fate (for you are my fate, my sweet). I want
No world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
And it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
And whatever a sun will always sing is you.

Here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(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)
And this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart.

I carry your heart. (I carry it in my heart.)


  1. So lovely. I've had that final line in my head for ages now (must have read it somewhere) but have not known where it came from. Thank you for solving the mystery.

    Not just a teacher during working hours!!

    Lesley xx

  2. So, now you want us to cry with you! It's a beautiful poem, and I think e e cummings would forgive you for your alterations -- it was for a good cause!

  3. Oh Isabelle.....so lovely. Are we too soppy do you think? Who cares..

  4. Lovely, Isabelle. It seems to hark back to the metaphysical poets (my true love has me hart and I have his?). Do you know cumming's poem 'Somewhere I have never travelled' - that has memories for me and also makes me cry.

  5. I am going to send this to my mom. 8-)

  6. this is one of two poems that L read to me at our handfasting ceremony - I have seldom cried so much!

  7. Nice, and indeed heartwarming.
    And I am glad you fixed up the punctuation. The world needs punctuation, and both upper and lower case.

    The umbilical cord is never truly severed.

  8. Good timing, thanks Isabelle. I will print this off and give it to Ken who is home now, after open heart surgery last week, and is still coming to terms with the thought of complete strangers (surgeons) holding his heart in their hands. One of the nurses actually said to him "don't worry, your heart is in good hands"!