"Me Up at Does" - Alternate Perspective

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Lauren Culp
Mr. Valdez
English 203-101
June 9, 2009

Me up at does: The Alternate Perspective

E.E. Cummings invites readers to “put yourself in someone else’s shoes” in his 1963 poem, Me up at does. Though short and, when evaluated according to traditional English sentence structure, “grammatically incorrect,” the poem exhibits the same basic elements found within any other form of poetry. Included in these elements is a speaker who narrates the poetry to the audience; the author’s unique selection of words, otherwise known as diction; an original use of syntax; the inclusion of various forms of figurative language; the incorporation symbols and allegorical elements into the poem; the use of symbolism requiring an imagination of each individual reader; and, of course, an underlying theme, which this author leaves to our own interpretation. This seemingly-simple poem actually provides a variety of themes for exploration in seeking to determine the author’s overall meaning behind the composition of E.E. Cummings’s Me up at does. Me up at does introduces us to a 3rd person (limited) speaker, by which the audience is able to view the situation from the eyes of the narrator; but this knowledge of the ongoing situation is limited only to the information provided by the speaker themselves. We are then briefly introduced to the two major characters (and only characters, for that matter) in the poem— the narrator and the mouse. We can extrapolate many details of the situational structure presented in the poem- the narrator had set a “mouse trap” (likely within his own home) to poison and kill the mice living amongst him; the mouse, innocent and helpless, has recently consumed some the poison; as the mouse’s life is coming to a rapid end, it is able to send an unspoken message while staring up at the narrator; the message tells the speaker of his proclaimed innocence and struggle to understand what he did differently than anyone else (especially the narrator) to deserve



Cited: Alforte, Aurora D. “An Analysis of the Poem ‘Me up at does?’” Google Blogspot. 3 Feb 2008. 7 June 2009. <http://aalforte.blogspot.com/>.

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