In Her Shoes

Photo Credit: Champagne From a Paper Cup

i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)

i fear
no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want
no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

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

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

~ e. e. cummings

This is about the only poem by Cummings that I can really say that I love. Of course, I’m not all that familiar with much of his poetry. However, I have loved this one from the first time I read it, which was sometime in the early ’90s.

And then I read the book In Her Shoes, by Jennifer Weiner. She included this poem at the end, in a very sweet, culminating scene between the two main characters (Rose and Maggie), who are sisters. It made me love it all the more. The book is a must-read! Weiner manages to write the relationship between sisters with such poignancy that I found myself actually cringing often, amazed that she was able to put on paper the raw emotions that exist between people. This was the first book I’d ever read by Jennifer Weiner, and once I finished it I promptly read the rest of what she’s published and keep her on my list of “must-reads”. I soon discovered that she’s able to write human emotions and the interplay of human relationships with such accuracy! And not just sisters–relationships between lovers, mothers and daughters, best friends, etc… She is one of my very favorite writers for this reason. And she couples her ability to write relationships with the ability to tell a fantastic story!

When In Her Shoes was made into a movie, I was highly skeptical. I usually am, because movies typically remove so much of the depth from what books provide. However, I was so pleasantly surprised by the movie version of In Her Shoes! Of course, for the sake of time there were situations and story lines that had to be edited out. But the main plot remained untouched. And best of all, the way in which Rose and Maggie interacted was as intense on screen. In fact, to see the story played out on screen was incredible. Rose was played by Toni Collette, and Maggie was played by Cameron Diaz. They were phenomenal! There is a scene when the two have a falling out that is absolutely visceral; you can’t help but feel what the two of them must be feeling.

In the movie, just as in the book, Maggie reads Cumming’s poem to Rose. But to see it on screen is so much more emotional; it always brings tears to my eyes. I have seen this movie at least 6 times so I know what’s coming. And it always, always makes me cry. I don’t usually cry in movies, but this gets me every single time. Possibly because Rose and Maggie are both crying, too!