Every Relationship Should be like an ee cummings Poem

ee cummings

My absolute favorite poem of all time is “i have found what you are like” by ee cummings. I get goosebumps every time I read it! I’ve posted the poem below so that you can have the pleasure of reading it as well:


For those of you who aren’t poetry fans, bear with me. I found this piece while taking a class on poetry at my university two years ago. You may have found the overall structure of this poem slightly annoying. Some of the words have missing spaces between them, punctuation seems to be strewn willy-nilly, and the actual word placement on the page appears arbitrary. I assure you that there is a point to it all!

Let’s start by identifying the purpose of this poem. The author is attempting to recreate the emotions of a kiss through the strategic use of grammar. Words that are missing spaces should be read quickly, while words that have larger spaces between them should be drawn out. These pauses mimic that rollarcoaster-like anticipation moments before an actual kiss.

Continuing onward, the body of the poem never even mentions anything about actual human actions. Instead, the whole thing seems to be about nature. In poetry, nature is often used to represent growth, health, or even magic, which makes the imagery exceedingly appropriate. By creating a poetic analogy that links a kiss to nature, ee cummings is saying that a kiss increases these relationship attributes.

The last part of this poem I want to talk about is the punctuation. The punctuation functions in the same way as the spaces between the words. Periods are used for abrupt stops, while parentheses are used for hushed tones. These little details add a little extra flavor to the piece.

So, now that you’ve had a poetry lesson, how does it apply to relationships? I am not by any means implying that physical attraction or physical displays of affection are the most important qualities of a relationship. However, I would hope everyone wants some level of excitement. Adding a little spice is fun, healthy, and natural for couples to strengthen that close bond. You should strive to have this same feeling at least every once in awhile.

Years together can really dim passion. That doesn’t mean the flame is completely out though. It just means that you both need to work at it a little harder. Go out on a few dates. Be spontaneous! Live life a little fuller. Practice will make it easier, but you both have to put in an effort.

P.S. I would encourage you all to go back and reread the poem! Happy reading!

Photo courtesy of Steve Johnson on Flickr. Legal Documentation Provided. 

This image has been modified by How to Survive Modern Dating.


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