The Poetic Style of e.e. Cummings Essay
It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are,” no one could say it better than Edward Sistine Cummings, aka e. E. Cummings. Poet William Carols Williams said that “Cummings means my language,” meaning that Williams enjoyed the way Cummings wrote poetry (Citation). It didn’t take long for Cummings to become “who he really was”. Cummings began writing poems at a very early age; this allowed him to develop a very unique style of writing poetry.
Cummings Is known for his strange use of letters, the structure of his poems, and his strange use f words.
When e. E. Cummings wrote poetry he had an unusual way of characterizing things, The letter I to most people Is Just a letter, but to e. E. Cummings It wasn’t. When reading his poems “l sing of Loaf glad and big” and “somewhere I have never traveled, gladly beyond”, Cummings uses the personal pronoun form of the letter “l” in the titles to downplay his point of view in the poems.
Cummings often uses lower case letters where capital letters were grammatically required.
In his poem derbies-with-men-in-them” found in the book American Writers Volume One he offers to people as lower case letters, for example: a has gold Teeth b pink Suspenders c Reads Atlantis Cummings also flips this method around and uses capital letters incorrectly as well as adding spaces in unusual places. In his poems “the pooh/mimeographing/inning owe n” and “stops,” the use of capital letters and spaces are there to show ulterior meanings. Cummings not only uses letters as tools but also to make his readers attempt to try to understand his underlying meaning.
In his poem “No Thanks,” Cummings spaces out letters and adds other punctuation marks to symbolize certain hangs; he uses the Capital “O” to symbolize the moon (American Writer). E. E Cummings was known for strange use of letters and spaces in his poems; he also arranges them in a strange structure as well. The structure of most e. E Cummings poems Is different than most poets of his time period. Cummings uses strange spacing and Intentions in some of his poetry, such as his poem “Crepuscular” found In the American Writer Volume 1: I will wade out Till my thighs are steeped In burn- Inning flowers.
I will take the sun In my mouth And leap Into the ripe air. According to author Richard Kennedy, the way Cummings set up the lines In the poem is to “create significant ambiguities and complexities. ” (176) By using this technique, his poems are harder to read which makes the reader focus on the message of the poem. One such poem that is never released actually states his line spacing and word intentions in the original draft. Cummings notes that “Lines composing by syllables” in the actual text of the work. Along with the spacing, Cummings uses punctuation marks to control the flow of his poetry.
In Cummings memo “O sweet spontaneous,” on line 13 he spaces over four times, writes the word “beauty’ spaces over seven times puts a period mark, and then writes “how. ” While this is very unconventional, it does get the reader’s attention and makes his poetry stand out. These are a few of the unique techniques, e. E. Cummings uses to personalize his work. While Cummings has strange uses for letters and unusual poem structure, his use of creative words may be the most unique feature of his poems. His combination of words in his poems reflects the way people speak in everyday life.
For example in the poem “Buffalo Bill’s,” Cummings combines the words “one, two, three, four, five” into one whole word as if the reader is actually pointing at and counting the pigeons out loud (Beam 2175). Cummings also displays this technique on line 6 of “in Just-. ” Cummings combines the names of two boys, Eddie and Bill, to create “demimondaine,” this reflects how children would speak when calling out to friends (Beam 217*). However, e. E. Cummings does not always write in such a slang form. In the early years of his career, he uses eloquent language.
For any people, this style makes his poems very hard to understand. Subsequently, Cummings changes his style to something that more people would enjoy (Earth’s 379). His combination of word choices was not common; however, it fit him quite well. Cummings is quoted saying that “The tragedy of life always hasn’t been and isn’t that some people are poor and others are rich, some hungry and others not hungry, some weak and others strong. The Tragedy is and always will be that people are unable to express themselves. ” (Earth’s 379) e. E Cummings has no problem expressing himself.
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