REO Speedwagon Poem Analysis

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New love is a powerful force. It can be overwhelming, inspiring, and a bit scary. Ultimately, though, as REO Speedwagon once said, it can “make everything so clear” (“Can’t Fight This Feeling”). In “since feeling is first,” e. e. cummings utilizes contrasting metaphors, as well as unconventional syntax and form, in order to portray this sentiment. The speaker, in a flash of romantic interest, experiences a sudden realization of his past follies in the way he has approached love, and shares this new understanding with both the reader and the object of his desire. Through this, cummings conveys a centralized dogma which holds living without inhibitions to be not simply recommended, but the only honest way of experiencing human interaction. Throughout…show more content…
The speaker compares the moment before a kiss to “syntax,” suggesting that, oftentimes, much thought goes into the forming of an emotion. He quickly juxtaposes this, however, against a relationship with nature. Immediately following this kiss, he remarks that this prior mentality has caused him “wholly to be a fool” (cummings 5). Throughout the middle of the poem, he compares the human body to the flourishing of the world. This is first introduced this in the second stanza, as he writes that “Spring is in the world” (6). This evokes imagery of life, of rebirth, of the sun rising to vanquish the cold winter behind us. The speaker goes on to speak of “kisses” from his lover, stating that “my blood approves,” in other words, races at the introduction of unreserved affection (7). If we analyze the symbolism in these lines, we can read them as the short narrative of a moment of enlightenment. The speaker, who has previously approached life in an analytical manner, has been suddenly inspired by the tenderness of a kiss. He realizes, in a flash of emotional impulse, that his prior lifestyle, his careful attention to “the syntax of things” has been dishonest (3).…show more content…
The suddenness with which the events of the fourth stanza occur mimics the speaker’s own stumbling into actions without second-guessing them. Particularly, in line thirteen the speaker excludes spaces between words to make the audience read them more quickly. By presenting the phrase as “we are for each other:then / laugh, leaning back in my arms,” we have little time to think of what that initial awareness means before we see the action which it prompts (13-14). This is the sort of unrestrained, natural human reaction which the speaker, and cummings, are promoting. Moreover, his implication in the final sentence – that “death […] is no parenthesis,” (16) provides a fascinating insight. The speaker does not use the plural of the word ‘parentheses, ' which if used, would suggest a closed qualifier for life. Instead, he uses the singular form of the word, saying that death is not the introduction, or opening, of such a qualifier. With this word choice, the speaker very deliberately indicates that death is not the beginning of new event, and, by doing this, assigns a greater significance to life. He suggests that death is not an addendum to life – that it is final, and because of this realization, that he has decided to devote less effort to constructing his life and more effort to experiencing it first-hand. The culmination of cummings’ symbols
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