i carry your heart by ee cummings

“i carry your heart” by ee cummings – An In-Depth Analysis

i carry your heart by ee cummings is a phenomenal, if rather strange, love poem that also happens to be one of his best-known poems by a writer who is notable for his strange and unusual poetic delivery. This poem deserves a lengthier discussion and analysis, and that is exactly the purpose of today’s piece. I will be going over this poem for those who are interested in what it has to say while also providing brief discussions of the themes and the writer behind the text. This is a great, if strange, poem, and if you are interested in learning more about it, you can head to the very next section!



Analysis of i carry your heart by ee cummings

Date Published1952
Type of PoemFree verse poem
Rhyme SchemeNone

When it comes to the poems of ee cummings, there are few as notable as i carry your heart. This poem has come to be seen as one of his best, and it is an exploration of love and adoration. The remainder of this article will be to examine the poem itself and to see how it explores these ideas and concepts. However, before we do dive into any of that, let’s first give ourselves a break and check out a summary.

i carry your heart by ee cummings themes e.e. cummings (1953) by Walter Albertin; Walter Albertin, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons



i carry your heart by ee cummings Summary Points

We will be getting into a far more in-depth examination of i carry your heart by ee cummings, but before we do get into anything like that, it can be useful to have a summary first. This can help you with what to expect before you dive in. So, here it is:

  • i carry your heart by ee cummings is about love. The central ideas that are explored in the text are oriented around adoration for another. While the poem may make use of a strange style, it is still essentially just a love poem.
  • i carry your heart by ee cummings is a free verse poem. This is immensely common throughout the work of ee cummings. He would often refuse to follow the standard rules of language and make use of strange terms and unusual forms.
  • i carry your heart is one of ee cummings’ best poems. There are thousands of ee cummings poems out there, but this specific one has come to be seen as particularly notable.

This has been my brief summary of i carry your heart by ee cummings, but it hardly does the text justice. The only way that we can do justice to this poem is if we get deeper into it.

So, we should probably do just that!



Biography of ee cummings

Poetic MovementModernism
Years1894 – 1962
Place of BirthCambridge, Massachusetts, United States
Known For
  • Tulips and Chimneys (1923)   
  • HIM (1927) 
  • Fairy Tales (1965)

The work of Edward Estlin Cummings, better known as ee cummings or E.E. Cummings or e. e. cummings (or however you want to write it!), has come to be seen as some of the most important of the Modernist movement. This is because his poetry is typically noted for its refusal to adhere to the norms of language or poetry in general. He would make use of strange typography, invent words or new word forms, and even explore topics that are often seen as taboo, such as marital infidelity. He wrote thousands of poems in his life, and his work influenced so many around the world, and so an analysis of i carry your heart by ee cummings is the least that we can do!

i carry your heart by ee cummings Style E. E. Cummings signature (nd); E.E. Cummings Created in vector format by Scewing, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons



An In-Depth Analysis of i carry your heart by ee cummings

Whenever you decide to have a look at an ee cummings poem, you need to remember that he did not exactly write in a particularly conventional way. Instead, he generally wrote in a very non-traditional way! His work has come to be noted for making use of the free verse form and therefore has no real poetic rules that they definitively follow. This also means that they can be rather difficult to break up for the purpose of analysis. In this particular analysis, I will be breaking it up into three stanzas, but the first stanza could possibly be broken into two.

This will be noted when I get to it, but for now, we can treat it as one stanza.

Once you get into any of his poems, and i carry your heart is no exception, we need to pay attention to the more unconventional use of poetic structure, the presence of strange uses of grammar, and language that can be peculiar and difficult to understand. His work is often symbolic in nature, and even his love poetry can be viewed in this way. However, we should probably stop wasting our time talking about it and rather get into the analysis itself. So, let’s do exactly that!


Stanza One

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

The lines in this poem make heavy use of enjambment and that means that analyzing on a more line-by-line basis can be rather difficult. Instead, I’ll be looking at it through more of a thought-by-thought basis. This is why the first line and the first half of the second line form one thought, and that is to metaphorically state that the speaker carries his lover’s heart with him and that he carries said heart within his own heart.

This is very obviously a metaphorical message as a literal reading would have something to do with heart transplants, and that is not the focus of this particular poem! Instead, it implies that the speaker’s lover is always with them on a more spiritual and metaphorical level. Those we love live within our hearts, and so they can never be truly separated from us because they are directly connected to us.

Explore i carry your heart by ee cummings Beata Beatrix (1864) by Dante Gabriel Rossetti; Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons 

The second thought, which follows from the first with no spaces between the bracket that ends one thought and the next statement, is that the speaker is never without his lover’s heart. Instead, he is connected to it. This is an exploration of the deeper bonds that connect those who are in love with one another, and the remainder of this thought, which can be found in the brackets, continues until the end of that line and takes up another two.

This thought is connected to the idea of never being separated from his lover (and it is in brackets to reinforce the idea that these thoughts are connected to one another). This connected thought reaffirms this idea of being connected by stating that no matter where he goes, his lover will be with him, and that whatever he does, seemingly on his own, was actually done by her.

These first few lines constitute what we could see as its own stanza, and that is because the next line, which simply reads “I fear”, is pushed to the right-hand side of the poem so that there is a large gap along the standard margins of a poem. However, this single line does not stand alone and is instead part of its own new thought.

This thought is that he has no fate outside of his lover. They are connected in terms of both their bodies and actions, but also their destinies. The future of one is the future of the other. This kind of all-encompassing thinking can be seen in the next thought too, and this thought states that his lover is his entire world. These feelings lead him to feel that there is little in the world that is outside of her.

The final two lines of this stanza, which also make up one thought with juxtaposing images, state that she is the moon and the sun. This implies that his lover is all of time for him. She is basically everything that exists and thanks to this, there is nothing else that is needed for him. This all rounds off the first stanza, and it is, by far, the longest of the three.


Stanza Two

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

When it comes to the stanzas of an ee cummings poem, you cannot expect consistency. The same is true of i carry your heart by ee cummings because the second stanza has far fewer lines than the first and is practically half the size. Don’t worry though, because the last stanza is even shorter! But we’ll get to that later.

i carry your heart by ee cummings Meaning The Tree of Life (1910-1911) by Gustav Klimt; Gustav Klimt, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

This stanza opens by stating that there is a secret that only the speaker is aware of, and this creates anticipation in the reader, and the next three lines stand to give an explanation of that secret that he has within himself. This bracketed section states that everything, from the root to the bud to the sky itself is part of a tree that is called “life”. This tree of life grows more than anything else in the world, and that is the love that the speaker holds for the one that he loves.

The final line of this stanza states that this tree, which is the secret, is the thing that is so powerful that it keeps the heavens themselves split. This indicates that he views his love for her in immensely hyperbolic terms, but that is the way that many instances of love poetry go, right?

The love of another is the most powerful and important thing in the world within the confines of poetry of this variety.


Stanza Three

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

In the poetry of ee cummings, repetition can often be found, and this final line echoes the first line and a half of the poem. It is not identical, but only because of the lack of a few words. It reaffirms that he carries her heart and that he carries it within his own heart. We have already interrogated this particular idea in the sections that preceded this one, but the fact that it was repeated indicates that it is an important statement that needs to be understood. This is the final message and meaning of the poem. It is about love and connection, and that the connection cannot be severed when true love blossoms.

i carry your heart by ee cummings Poem The Kiss (1859) by Francesco Hayez; Francesco Hayez, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons 



The Themes of i carry your heart by ee cummings

When we look at a poem like i carry your heart by ee cummings, we can see a number of different themes at play. The central idea is oriented around love. However, this love is also a means of exploring the way in which we can feel that we have come to be intimately connected to the ones that we love. It shows that sense of unity that can be found between lovers. The idea of them becoming of one soul, in a sense. This is reinforced through the idea of the heart as it is presented in the poem, and the commitment that comes with true love is of paramount importance.

i carry your heart by ee cummings Analysis e.e. cummings poem–“i carry your heart with me” written in a diary (2014); Sarah Hina, CC BY-NC 4.0, via Flickr


We have arrived at the conclusion to my brief analysis of i carry your heart by ee cummings. In this article, I have provided you with a short and sweet summary of the writer, an examination of some of the themes of the poem, and a deeper dive into the poem itself. However, there are many other poems by ee cummings out there, and I mean many, so if you enjoyed this one, there are many more to find.




Frequently Asked Questions


What Is i carry your heart by ee cummings?

This is a poem that has come to be seen as one of the most famous of ee cummings’ career. It is a poem that explores love and devotion, and it has come to be noted for its powerful use of romantic imagery and unconventional language.


Who Was ee cummings?

ee cummings was an important poet of the Modernist movement. He is seen as an innovator because of his unusual use of language and form in poetry. His work has influenced many writers throughout the globe, and he’s considered one of the most notable users of the free verse style of poetry.


What Are the Themes of i carry your heart by ee cummings?

The principal themes that can be found in this poem have to do with love. The poem is ultimately a love poem, and it explores ideas related to connections between lovers, the notion of eternal love, and how we can become one with the one we love.


Cite this Article

Justin, van Huyssteen, ““i carry your heart” by ee cummings – An In-Depth Analysis.” Art in Context. March 19, 2024. URL: https://artincontext.org/i-carry-your-heart-by-ee-cummings/

van Huyssteen, J. (2024, 19 March). “i carry your heart” by ee cummings – An In-Depth Analysis. Art in Context. https://artincontext.org/i-carry-your-heart-by-ee-cummings/

van Huyssteen, Justin. ““i carry your heart” by ee cummings – An In-Depth Analysis.” Art in Context, March 19, 2024. https://artincontext.org/i-carry-your-heart-by-ee-cummings/.

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