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"SOMEWHERE I HAVE NEVER TRAVELLED" E. E. CUMMINGS (1931) This poem, published in the collection ViVa, illustrates the influence of the modernist experimentation of such poets as Ezra pound and T. S. eliot on E. E. cummings and exemplifies the poet's fusion of exuberant typographical and grammatical play, a painterly exploration of imagery, and spare lyricism. While ViVa demonstrates Cummings's increasingly idiosyncratic and anarchic poetics and marks his emergence as a crucial player in bringing to American poetry the questioning and experiments of European literary and visual art, "somewhere" combines formal radicalism with gentle lyricism and shows the exquisite balance of Cum-mings's best poetry (see european poetic influences and modernism).
The world of this poem is associative in its understated metaphors and mobile in its shifting between images. A self is a flower, fingers are petals, and fragility is "intense." The poem is about the courage of a joyous trust. Eyes have voices, roses depth, and the rain is delicate handed. This imagery shows the influence of surrealism and evokes the sensation of the blurring of self and other that the delights of early love bring. Boundaries collapse, and the self merges with both the beloved and the world, especially the natural world. The experience of "I," the poem's speaker, is of
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