Throughout the poem, the speaker carries out two contradictory metaphors, which he uses to represent the two manners in which a person can approach life. The first relates living to the structuring of a paragraph. This concept, introduced in the first stanza, demonstrates the ways in which humans often live behind a veil of cognition, interpreting our lives before we attempt to approach them. 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 ...
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...ifier. 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 presents a stark contrast. Throughout the poem, they interact with each other in order to convey two differing ideas about life. The concept of life as a paragraph is quickly dismissed as inferior to a view of life as an instance of nature. cummings accomplishes this through effective manipulation of syntax and form, demonstrating the speaker 's experience with each lifestyle, and succinctly depicting which side he has chosen to identify with.
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