Published in 1952, “i carry your heart with me(i carry it in” is one of E. E. Cummings’s best known love poems. The speaker feels an intense connection to an unidentified lover, addressing the poem to this person and suggesting that everything in life has become infused with their romance. The poem very loosely adheres to the structure of a sonnet, though the meter and rhyme scheme—as well as the stanza form—break from convention. This aligns with the idiosyncratic syntactical style that Cummings is known for, which is also on full display here.
i carry your ...
... my heart)
i am never ...
... your doing,my darling)
i fear ...
... my world,my true)
and it’s you ...
... sing is you
here is the ...
... of the bud
and the sky ...
... mind can hide)
and this is ...
... in my heart)
Select any word below to get its definition in the context of the poem. The words are listed in the order in which they appear in the poem.
On the Big Screen — Watch Cameron Diaz read "i carry your heart(i carry it in" at a wedding scene in the 2005 film "In Her Shoes."
Self-Portrait — It's well known that E. E. Cummings was a masterful poet, but not everyone knows that he was also a rather skilled painter. Check out, for instance, this self-portrait he painted, which is part of the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery.
A Reading of the Poem — Listen to E. E. Cummings himself read the poem! In particular, pay special attention to the way he paces himself and where he inserts pauses between phrases.
Board Book — After its original publication, "i carry your heart(i carry it in" was published as an illustrated "board book." In this video, you can see the illustrations and how they pair with the lines of the poem.
The Man Behind the Poem — Read more about E. E. Cummings in this overview of his life and work.
1i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
2my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
3i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
4by only me is your doing,my darling)
5 i fear
6no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
7no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
8and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
9and whatever a sun will always sing is you
10here is the deepest secret nobody knows
11(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
12and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
13higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
14and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart
15i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)