when god lets my body be
e. e. cummings
In the poem "when god lets my body be", e. e. cummings uses archetypal images to suggest that life is a never ending circle. His images display the idea that even after death you are still left on the earth circulating through nature's cycle. To establish this idea at the beginning of the poem cummings creates the image of a tree growing from the soil of the narrators' dead body with the line, "from each brave eye shall sprout a tree." Trees are evocative of eternity- forever growing and always creating new life through their fruit. As well the tree gives that idea of dynamic life. In the line "the purpled world will dance upon Between my lips which did sing," a connection between nature and man is drawn. The narrators' lips and mouth were the center of many of the vital components of her human life. The mouth is how one eats, speaks, breathes, romances and communicates. The idea of flowers, a common symbol for the better land, now "dancing" over what was a fundamental part of her life as a human creates the image of human life and natural life being part of an intertwined cycle. The next line "a rose shall beget the spring that maidens whom passion wastes," displays the image of a rose which symbolizes fertility, resurrection and passion. The narrators' body has created the new life of the rose through the fertile soils her body created. Now with her creation another life, the life of the maiden- also symbolizing fertility and passion- is waiting for her chance to continue the circle of life. Towards the end of the poem there is an image of a bird. This represents that although the narrator is now just part of the soil she feels that she is free and without limitations. The poem is ended off with the line, "and all the while shall my heart be With the bulge and nuzzle of the sea." The words "with the bulge and nuzzle" finish with emphasis that, like the never resting tides of the sea, you go though immeasurable stages...
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