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One early effort, "Thy fingers make early flowers of all things"... varies from the traditional carpe diem poem so slightly that it almost escapes notice. Much of its special tenderness...results from Cummings' having reversed the usual male-female roles. The maiden is a coquette, but her intentions are far more openly dishonorable than those of her seventeenth-century sisters. Far from putting her suitor off, she is gently leading him out of his fearful preoccupation with life's evanescence, encouraging him to put his whole heart into his kissing. "listen/ beloved/ i dreamed"... presents the male speaker subtly but traditionally threatening his lady. But here archaic and modern colloquial diction intermix, and the apparently traditional imagery communicates with special force through its association with fantastic Freudian dream material.