Many would argue that poetry is an art in itself. E E Cummings’s May I Feel Said He is an accurate representation of how poetry can be more of a work of art than a work of pure writing.

The poem is short and has an entertaining and almost familiar rhyme throughout. The repetition of ‘said he’ and ‘said she’ is a key part of May I Feel and Cummings really plays on that repetition in order to entice the reader into the world of the two lovers, immediately making the poem not just intimate in context, but intimate between the reader and the lovers.

May I Feel Said He follows a small fragment of a sexual relationship between a married man (‘but your wife said she’) and a virgin woman (‘I’ll squeal said she’) in what is presumably their first time having sex as a couple. Cummings’s initial audacity – especially seeing as it was published in 1935 – is startling, but as the poem continues with its witty tone and rhythm, you become at one with it all and are consumed by the entire piece.

However, Cummings’s poem is not the most romantic of the plethora of poetry out there, but it is one of the wittiest yet loveable I have personally stumbled upon. With a suggested fling (‘is it love said she’), May I Feel isn’t a poem expressing love or gratitude, or one that anyone should really idolise. It’s a bit frisky and a bit fun all rolled into one. Who wouldn’t love it?