I Carry Your Heart With Me: An Ode To Art & e.e. cummings

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At Different Is Cool we are passionate about art – art is a tangible representation of the human soul – it tells the story of our collective human history, of our hopes, dreams and wishes, along with our sorrows, our misgivings and our pain.  Art is to life, what water is to Earth.

“The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.” ~Aristotle

And on this day [October 14th] in 1894, American avant garde poet, essayist, painter, author and playwright e.e. cummings was born. While he died in 1962 [aged 67], his art, particularly his poetry, resonates so much with people’s souls, that he is perhaps more culturally relevant today than during his lifetime.  He is one of the most influential artists of our times and young and old are drawn to his work.

A self-portrait of e.e. cummings, circa 1920.

If you have ever taken a high school English class [at least in North America], chances are good that you have read an e.e. cummings poem.  And chances are also good that reading e.e. cummings ignited your interest in poetry itself. Cummings is best known for his penchant for breaking the syntax and style of traditional poetry – many of his poems have no punctuation at all and are “free verse,” with no thought of rhyme or meter.

His poetry resonates so much with today’s audience, that modern cultural references abound – in the 2006 feature film “Candy”, the late actor Heath Ledger’s poet character recites the famous cummings poem “I Carry Your Heart With Me.”

“I Carry Your Heart With Me” is a poem that countless students have memorized for recitation in English class; it’s a beautiful, moving piece about love and connection.

[i carry your heart with me(i carry it in]

BY E. E. CUMMINGS

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

 

Memorizing poetry can seem like a bit of a drag – so when we came across a very talented young woman on YouTube, RaydiateJOY, who took “I Carry Your Heart”, put it to her own music and performed it for “A Poem In Your Pocket Day”, we knew that cummings’ ability to transcend time was cemented.  Here’s her video – you’re going to be humming this one for the rest of the day – and what better way to memorize a poem? :)

“I Carry Your Heart” is such an inspirational poem, that many people have had lines from it tattooed on their bodies, so to forever be able to carry cummings’ art with them.  We love the popular blog Contrariwise.org, where everyday people post images of their literary tattoos.

Here are a couple from the e.e. cummings section:

e.e. cummings was the definitive original – he confidently and passionately marched to the beat of his own drum – and it was his wish that all people would do the same.

His saying [below immortalized in tattoo ink], on finding the courage to truly be yourself, has become his most famous quote, and for good reason.  It’s a wish that all of us at Different Is Cool carry in our collective heart too.

 

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