may i feel – e e cummings – comments

e e Cummings – may i feel

may i feel said he
(i’ll squeal said she
just once said he)
it’s fun said she

(may i touch said he
how much said she
a lot said he)
why not said she

(let’s go said he
not too far said she
what’s too far said he
where you are said she)

may i stay said he
(which way said she
like this said he
if you kiss said she

may i move said he
is it love said she)
if you’re willing said he
(but you’re killing said she

but it’s life said he
but your wife said she
now said he)
ow said she

(tiptop said he
don’t stop said she
oh no said he)
go slow said she

(cccome? said he
ummm said she)
you’re divine! said he
(you are Mine said she)

This e e cummings poem is very easy on the mind unlike many of his poems which require some thought. A rhyming conversation piece of sexual tension between ‘he’ and ‘she’ … and I guess that when this piece was written it would have been quite an audacious poem. As well as the simple four line ‘he/she’ voices there are internal rhyming words throughout.

The third stanza from the end provides a nice twist in thought as infidelity is at play and such liaisons always come at a cost. But love is always costly in one way or another. Is love, or is it lust, worth the cost of such a relationship?

At a recent poetry meeting there was some debate on the last line with the capitalisation of ‘Mine’. Perhaps this highlights the fact that the lady is taking ownership on a temporary basis to that which belongs to another. It reminded me of the praying mantis insect where the female devours the male after copulation!

It is a great conversational performance poem with a gentleman reading and a lady responding. We did this at our poetry meeting and it was very effective. Note that love and lust are four letter words unlike sex.

Your word in my ear ...

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