somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond
any experience, your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near
your slightest look easily will unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skillfully, mysteriously) her first rose
or if your wish be to close me, i and
my life will shut very beautifully, suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;
nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility: whose texture
compels me with the colour of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing
(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens; only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands
From Complete Poems: 1904-1962 by E. E. Cummings, edited by George J. Firmage. Used with the permission of Liveright Publishing Corporation. Copyright © 1923, 1931, 1935, 1940, 1951, 1959, 1963, 1968, 1991 by the Trustees for the E. E. Cummings Trust. Copyright © 1976, 1978, 1979 by George James Firmage.
We lay in shade diaphanous And spoke the light that burns in us As in the glooming’s net I caught her, She shimmered like reflected water! Romantic and emphatic moods Are not for her whom life eludes... Its vulgar tinsel round her fold? She'd rather shudder with the cold, Attend just this elusive hour, A shadow in a shadow bower, A moving imagery so fine, It must have been her soul near mine And so we blended and possessed Each in each the phantom guest, Inseparate, we scarcely met; Yet other love-nights we forget!
This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on June 30, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.