e.e. cummings: Lady, i will touch you with my mind

Lady, i will touch you with my mind.
Touch you and touch and touch
until you give
me suddenly a smile, shyly obscene

(lady i will
touch you with my mind.) Touch
you, that is all,

lightly and you utterly will become
with infinite ease

the poem which i do not write.
(e.e. cummings)

I think that the beauty of this poem lies in the sudden response elicited by the poet through the intrusion into the lady with his mind. He captures, fixes, and prolongs it by saying that she responds to this mental touch with “a smile, shyly obscene”. This is the nuanced image of a woman caught in the expression of a prohibited thought to which her mind has involuntarily leapt. Her resistance has been breached for a moment and the two words “shyly obscene” portray her unexpected and momentary complacency.

Pierre-Auguste Renoir: Portrait de Jeanne Samary (1879/1880)

Signora, ti toccherò con la mia mente.
Ti toccherò e toccherò e toccherò
finché non mi farai
all’improvviso un sorriso, timidamente osceno

(signora ti toccherò
con la mia mente.) Ti toccherò,
ecco tutto,

lievemente e tu diventerai completamente
e con estrema spontaneità

la poesia che non scrivo.
(L.Z.)

54 thoughts on “e.e. cummings: Lady, i will touch you with my mind

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