“9” by E.E. Cummings
Edward Estlin Cummings was a unique poet with an equally unique writing style. E.E. Cummings was born on October 14th, 1894 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In 1916, Cummings graduated with a master’s degree from Harvard University. During his studies, he was subject to many great writers such as Gertrude Stein and Ezra Pound. After working for five months as a volunteer ambulance driver in World War I, he was captured by French authorities. He was accused on accounts of espionage. After the war, he settled into a life in which he bounced around from houses in rural Connecticut and Greenwich Village. He also traveled through Europe meeting various poets and artists, including Pablo Picasso. During his life, Cummings won a number of awards for his unique style of writing. At the time of his death in 1962, he was the second most widely read poet in the United States, only behind Robert Frost. In this essay, we will discuss three distinct features of his writing that made it so unique. These features included literary devices, imagery, and symbolism. One of the most prominent poetic devices in E.E. Cummings poem, “9”, is alliteration. This literary device is obvious throughout the poem. For example, in the first stanza, “There are so many tic-toc clocks everywhere telling people what tic-toc time it is, for tic-toc instance, five toc minutes toc past six tic” (Cummings Web). Cummings uses the phrase tic-toc, and other variations of that to create a sense of repetition. This fits nicely into what the major theme of the poem is. Cummings believes that watching and keeping track of time gets repetitive. Through alliteration, Cummings creates a sense of repetition while summarizing the overwhelming theme of the poem. Another major poetic device Cummings uses in his poem “9” is imagery. Cummings makes use of descriptive phrases that practically paint a picture in the reader’s mind. For example, “Spring is not regulated and does not get out of order,...
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