Education of Ee Cummings

Topics: Sonnet, E. E. Cummings, Ezra Pound Pages: 10 (1816 words) Published: October 8, 1999
Education of ee cummings

Outline

I.Introduction
A.Cummings' life
B.Introduction to Cummings' ideogram form
C.5 Poems being analyzed
D.Thesis Statement: Cummings utilizes unique syntax in these poems in order to convey messages visually as well as verbally. II.Poem analyses
A.l(a
1.Theme - not sadness or loneliness, but oneness 2.Syntax
a.instances of ‘1' in the poem
b.shape of a poem representing leaf falling 3.Images - one and oneness
B.mortals)
1.Theme
a.‘eachness'
b.‘climbi' and ‘begi'
2.Syntax
a."open ing"
b."of speeds of"
c."&meet&"
d."a/n/d"
e."(im" à "mortals)"
3.Images - circularity of poem
C.!blac
1.Theme
a.‘!' and its results
b.Cummings' comment
c.‘.g' at end
2.Syntax
a.less free verse than one may first think 1.four and one line altering stanzas
2.lone consonants forming a sort of rhyme themselves 3.trees & against
t
; (whi) & sky; te, rees, & le
b.falling of a leaf
1.the whole poem's syntax
2.line and word spacing
3.IrlI
3.Images
a.comma after sky and trees
b.black against
t
t white
D.swi(
1.Theme – differentiate b/w perception and conception 2.Syntax
a.swi(
b.terseness, primary lang., and unclear syntactical relationships
c.motion à Less
d.d,
3.Images – against
t
t ó across à swift à swimming
III.Conclusion
A.Cummings' method
B.Comment on the ideogram

l(a

le

af

fa

ll

s)

one

l

iness

!blac

k

against
t

t

(whi)

te sky

?t

rees which

h fr

om droppe

d

,

le

af

a:;go

e

s wh

IrlI

n

.g

mortals)

climbi

ng i

not
eachness begi

n

dizzily

swingthings

of speeds of

trapeze gush somersaults

open ing

hes shes

&meet&

swoop

fully is are ex

quisite theys of re

turn

a

n

d

fall which
h now drop who all dreamlike

(im

swi(

across!gold's

rouNdly

)ftblac

kl(ness)y

a-motion-upo-nmotio-n

Less?

thE

(against
t
t

is

)Swi

mming

(w-a)s

bIr

d,

E. E. Cummings, who was born in 1894 and died in 1962, wrote many poems with unconventional punctuation and capitalization, and unusual line, word, and even letter placements – namely, ideograms. Cummings' most difficult form of prose is probably the ideogram; it is extremely terse and it combines both visual and auditory elements. There maybe sounds or characters on the page that cannot be verbalized or cannot convey the same message if pronounced and not read. Four of Cummings' poems – l(a, mortals), !blac, and swi( – illustrate the ideogram form quite well. Cummings utilizes unique syntax in these poems in order to convey messages visually as well as verbally. Although one may think of...

Cited: Friedman, Norman. E. E. Cummings: A Collection of Critical Essays.
New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1972.
Kidder, Rushworth M. E. E. Cummings: An Introduction to the
Poetry. New York: Columbia University Press, 1979.
Marks, Barry A. E. E. Cummings. New York: Twayne Publishers,
Inc., 1964.
Triem, Eve. E. E. Cummings. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota
Press, 1969.
Wegner, Robert E. The Poetry and Prose of E. E. Cummings. New
York: Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc
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