Please wait while we process your payment
If you don't see it, please check your spam folder. Sometimes it can end up there.
Don’t have an account?
Create Your Account
Sign up for your FREE 7-day trial
Already have an account? Log in
Choose Your Plan
$4.99/month + tax
$24.99/year + tax
Save over 50% with a SparkNotes PLUS Annual Plan!
for a group?
Get Annual Plans at a discount when you buy 2 or more!
$18.74 /subscription + tax
Subtotal $37.48 + tax
on 2-49 accounts
on 50-99 accounts
Want 100 or more?
for a customized plan.
You'll be billed after your free trial ends.
7-Day Free Trial
Renews October 5, 2023
September 28, 2023
Discounts (applied to next billing)
This is not a valid promo code.
(one code per order)
Annual Plan - Group Discount
SparkNotes Plus subscription is $4.99/month or $24.99/year as selected above. The free trial period is the first 7 days of your subscription. TO CANCEL YOUR SUBSCRIPTION AND AVOID BEING CHARGED, YOU MUST CANCEL BEFORE THE END OF THE FREE TRIAL PERIOD. You may cancel your subscription on your Subscription and Billing page or contact Customer Support at email@example.com. Your subscription will continue automatically once the free trial period is over. Free trial is available to new customers only.
For the next 7 days, you'll have access to awesome PLUS stuff like AP English test prep, No Fear Shakespeare translations and audio, a note-taking tool, personalized dashboard, & much more!
You’ve successfully purchased a group discount. Your group members can use the joining link below to redeem their group membership. You'll also receive an email with the link.
Members will be prompted to log in or create an account to redeem their group membership.
Thanks for creating a SparkNotes account! Continue to start your free trial.
Your PLUS subscription has expired
*See discount terms and conditions.
“i carry your heart with me” is structured like a traditional English sonnet. Sonnets typically consist of three quatrains and a closing couplet. At first glance, however, Cummings’s poem may not actually look like a sonnet. For example, the poem has fifteen lines, rather than the sonnet’s standard fourteen. Yet if we consider the extremely short fifth line to be a kind of bridge between two distinct stanzas, the poem’s essential fourteen-line structure becomes clear. Even if we agree to see “i carry your heart with me” as a fourteen-line poem, that alone doesn’t confirm its sonnet-like structure. Indeed, in some ways its resemblance to a traditional sonnet is merely that: a resemblance. For instance, though Cummings doesn’t use iambic pentameter, which is the traditional meter for the English sonnet, he does write lines that have five clear, strong beats. Thus, he approximates iambic pentameter without actually using it. In other instances, however, the resemblance to a traditional sonnet is much stronger. For instance, although the poem features occasional slant rhymes, “i carry your heart with me” strictly deploys the conventional rhyme scheme used for English sonnets: ABAB CDCD EFEF GG.
Perhaps most important, however, is the poem’s thematic structure. The English sonnet typically features a volta, or “turn,” which involves a shift in the speaker’s thought or overall argument. In the case of “i carry your heart with me,” a turn arguably occurs in the transition between lines 9 and 10. The first nine lines, which form two quatrains linked by the short fifth line, all emphasize the same basic point about the speaker’s devotion to their beloved. The main sentiment of the first quatrain is that the speaker carries the beloved’s heart in their own heart. The speaker develops this sense of intimate closeness in the second quatrain by insisting that their beloved represents the only world they need. In line 10, however, the speaker’s focus shifts from intimacy and insularity to a much more expansive and cosmic vision:
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart
Whereas the first two quatrains stress proximity, here in lines 10–14 the main idea centers on how a certain kind of deep wonder maintains the vast distances between stars. Paradoxically, this deep wonder also enables the intimacy the speaker shares with their beloved, which they suggest in their final return to the romantic union: “i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)” (line 15).