Thanksgiving Prayer

Topics: E. E. Cummings, Poetry, Sonnet Pages: 5 (1929 words) Published: September 19, 2010
Thanksgiving Prayer
Edward Estlin Cummings, more commonly known as E.E. Cummings, was an American and one of the most popular poets of the 20th Century. However, he was not only a poet; he was a playwright, painter, essayist, and an author. Nevertheless, he was more renowned for his romantic themed poetry, which dealt with the themes of love and nature. As a poet, E.E. Cummings liked to go against the norm and play with syntax and sentence structure. Conversely, this made it hard for some readers to understand his work because many of his poems did not act in agreement with the conventional combinatorial rules that produce typical English. In, E.E. Cummings poem “I thank you God for most this amazing (65) MC,” he uses Christianity symbolism, an intriguing poem structure, word order inversions and a variety of very interesting word choices to annotate a man’s morning prayer, thanking God for allowing him to awake another day.

E.E. Cummings makes many biblical and religious references throughout this poem, which allows him to stress the importance of religion or the idea of a higher being. Additionally, E.E. Cummings writes most, if not all of his poems in lower case writing. In fact, he doesn’t even capitalize his own name. However, in very unusual and important cases he will capitalize the first letter of a certain word, in order to emphasize the importance or power of the word capitalized. As we can see in line one, where he writes, “I thank You God for most this amazing,” and in line fifteen where he capitalizes the word “You,” so as to promote special praise and respect for God and a higher being. Furthermore, in line seven the speaker makes another religious reference, when he says “I who have died am alive again today,” meaning that he has once again risen to a new morning and is thankful that God has blessed him with a new day. However, the idea of dying and rising again in the Bible refers to the belief of the heavens of Christianity and the second coming of Christ, after he had died on the cross and rose again. Once more, in line nine the speaker makes a reference to angelic figures, when he says, “this is the birth day of life and love and wings.” E.E. Cummings deliberately used the word wings, to refer to the wings of angelic figures, further stressing the importance of religion in this poem. Moreover, when someone is deep in prayer and thought, they will usually find themselves in a mystical state. E.E. Cummings refers to this state of mind when he says; “(now the ears of my ears awake and now the eyes of my eyes are opened,” meaning the speaker has reached that particular spiritual state of prayer.

Not only does E.E. Cummings use Christianity symbolism to allow the reader to see the speaker is in prayer, but he uses the poems structure to help the reader understand what the speaker is thinking. In this particular poem, the second and fourth stanzas are in parentheses but the first and third are not. When I first came upon this I wondered what the hell he is doing. However, after reading through the poem a couple more times, I realized that the poet was using the parentheses to emphasize the soul within, it’s what the speaker was thinking when he was praying to God. In those two stanzas we can see that the speaker is talking to himself, reminding himself that today, like every other day is the “sun’s birthday” and “the birth day of life and love and wings.”Additionally, if the parentheses represent his inner sole, when he’s not directly praying to God, than that means the first and third stanza represent his actual prayer to God, thanking him “for most this amazing day.” Furthermore, E.E. Cummings uses sentence structure and word choice to implant the image of a man in prayer into the readers mind. In line one, E.E. Cummings uses word inversion to dictate to the reader that the speaker is still in a groggy state of mind at the beginning of his prayer. He says, “I thank You God for most this amazing...
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