Home > English, Life, People, Poetry, Relationships > ‘may i feel said he’ by e.e. cummings

‘may i feel said he’ by e.e. cummings

e.e. cummings and one of his drawings

may i feel said he
(i’ll squeal said she
just once said he)
it’s fun said she

(may i touch said he
how much said she
a lot said he)
why not said she

(let’s go said he
not too far said she
what’s too far said he
where you are said she)

may i stay said he
(which way said she
like this said he
if you kiss said she

may i move said he
is it love said she)
if you’re willing said he
(but you’re killing said she

but it’s life said he
but your wife said she
now said he)
ow said she

(tiptop said he
don’t stop said she
oh no said he)
go slow said she

(cccome?said he
ummm said she)
you’re divine!said he
(you are Mine said she)



On the surface an encounter between a married man and a naive, inexperienced young girl, in truth a searing and complex portrait of the human condition. Its simplicity is its beauty, its playfulness is what hides its true meaning. About a girl turning into a woman and realizing the power she holds over men–sexual power. Man’s rough and brusque approach to a woman’s sensitivity and love, man’s perspective on sex as well as woman’s. The never ending war of the sexes that is human life. Man and woman are so different, yet essentially so the same. Permanently trying to connect with each other, it is our primary goal, yet there is an huge abyss between man and woman. In this poem, man wants pleasure, wants to explode, wants to get it over with. Woman wants love at first but then enjoys the pleasure and wants more. After the act man is a fool in love and the woman is empowered. By the end of the poem we realize who is really in control.

This is poem “16″ which can be found in the book ‘Erotic Poems’ by e.e. cummings.

  1. nicolasmontejo
    May 5, 2011 at 12:58 pm | #1

    this is puzzling, i honestly dont know what to say. i wish we all still lived in the wild like you said this morning gabe.

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