Marisa Maccaro '17, Philosophy Major, Creative Writing minor

"since feeling is first"
by e.e. cummings

since feeling is first
who pays any attention
to the syntax of things
will never wholly kiss you;

wholly to be a fool
while Spring is in the world

Read/hear the full poem

I love the diction cummings uses to contrast the intellectual and the emotional and the way he uses syntax to reflect this ancient conflict. I think we all revel in our rational capacity but constantly and joyfully surrender it to the experience of beauty and pleasure. At the same time, there is a kind of rational pleasure in the deciphering of poetry; after all, the final two lines of this poem are cryptic and beautiful enough to keep anyone up at night.

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