e.e.cummings

The poems of e.e.cummings have a very unique style. There are hardly any capital letters – a lot of the “i”s are lowercase when they would normally be uppercase. The spacing is also odd – some groups of words are spaced together as one word, such as “onetwothreefourfive” “pigeonsjustlikethat” and “yellowsonofabitch.” Even his name is stylized in this way, with lowercase letters and no spaces.

“my sweet old etcetera” and “i sing Olaf glad and big” both seem to be about experiences with war. In “my sweet old etcetera”, family members tell the speaker why it’s a good thing that he’s going to fight in the war. The continued use of the word “etcetera” implies disinterest in what his family has to say about his going to war. “i sing Olaf glad and big” tells the story of the brutal death of a soldier in the war. With these poems, Cummings seems rather critical of war.

“i like my body when it is with your” has a similar style of writing, but a different subject matter. It recounts a sexual experience, in pretty vivid detail. The sex is described as very animalistic, using language such as “shocking fuzz” (10) and “electric fur” (11).

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