E.E. Cummings Month: “i like my body when it is with your”

I’ve had a lot of friends celebrating romantic occasions recently. This is for them, and for hope.



i like my body when it is with your
body. It is so quite a new thing.
Muscles better and nerves more.
i like your body. i like what it does,


Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Gondry, 2004).

i like its hows. i like to feel the spine
of your body and its bones, and the trembling
-firm-smooth ness and which i will
again and again and again
kiss, i like kissing this and that of you,



i like, slowly stroking the, shocking fuzz
of your electric fur, and what-is-it comes
over parting flesh . . . . And eyes big love-crumbs,



and possibly i like the thrill

of under me you quite so new


(E.E. Cummings, “i like my body when it is with your.” Written for Elaine Thayer. They divorced in December of 1924. The poem was published Valentine’s Day, 1925.)


Jean Seberg, À bout de souffle/Breathless (Godard, 1960).

If you feel often like me then these Cummings love poems might make us lost ones a little lonely, but if I can glean a positive from it, they are written with such passion that you cannot help, with some surprise, hoping to find a fraction of that abandon and joy, whether again or for the first time. And believing such a thing is possible to find even after you’ve experienecd deep pain or felt yourself set always apart from the crowd of the easily popular, incomprehensible, “normal” socializing world, the idea that you might still connect with someone in a deep, resonantly real way, one that isn’t predicated on current conventions of date-marking-success like alcohol or knowing lines from an eighties sitcom, is something that is never bad. I think too that stripping away all the trappings that surround a date or relationship, and seeing how well the vibe between you stands up absent of distraction, mood-altering substances, and the intervention of entertainment technology is maybe a good idea, too.


Katharine Hepburn, Woman of the Year (George Stevens, 1942).

Maybe it’s even vital and something you should do right out of the gate instead of triking along together parallel-playing in front of the television at being in touch when really you are still little materialistic children faking love for someone else in a thousand ways while you prevent yourself from really loving anyone by putting up these walls of text messages and reality shows you have to watch and social networking and earbuds and booze and — hey-hey-hey — blogging. We make ourselves alone even when we’re together, and then we can’t understand why we can’t form connections… I am totally depressing myself. This was supposed to be about hope and it still is. Maybe I’m just whittling away the non-reality of all the malarkey that’s kept my hope from fulfillment in the past.

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5 Responses to “E.E. Cummings Month: “i like my body when it is with your””

  1. Charly CONCHITA Carlyle Says:

    you ALWAYS make me think…consider…then rethink…THANK YOU! c.

  2. doubleclicktf Says:

    People sometimes ask me what my favourite song is. I hate picking favourite anythings, or top tens, but my most common answer is Bettye Swann’s version of “Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye”. It does something funny in my chest.

    So this one’s for you, E. Sounds like you need it. Try not to watch the video box at the same time though, because whoever uploaded this is a maniac and put a looping zoom effect on.

  3. namelessneed Says:

    Yr. Hope-fueled (& filled) Rant at the end of yr post wasn’t depressing
    You were just getting to one heart of the matter.
    I’ve enjoyed yr monthly tributes & themes
    and this one today was a beauty
    I intend to forward it
    I hope that in the future you show yr. affectionate spotlight on my heroes
    Keep on

  4. E. Says:

    Thank you everyone … sorry I’ve been such an absentee landlord, but these comments are totally rocking my socks. Thanks for the support!

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