Tag Archives: E.E. Cummings

If I Have Made, My Lady, Intricate

Portrait of the Artist Painting His Wife. Thomas Sully. 1810.


If I Have Made, My Lady, Intricate

E. E. Cummings


If I have made, my lady, intricate

imperfect various things chiefly which wrong

your eyes (frailer than most deep dreams are frail)

songs less firm than your body’s whitest song

upon my mind—if I have failed to snare

the glance too shy—if through my singing slips

the very skilful strangeness of your smile

the keen primeval silence of your hair


—let the world say “his most wise music stole

nothing from death”—

you will only create

(who are so perfectly alive) my shame:

lady whose profound and fragile lips

the sweet small clumsy feet of April came


into the ragged meadow of my soul.


Both E. E. Cummings and Thomas Sully attempt to capture in their art the beauty of the woman they love.