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Transcript of ee cummings
e e cummings
coraliz, belana, & julie
maggie and milly and molly and may
Paris (the city of love)
analysis and critique
Stressed and unstressed syllables
The parenthetical idea in this poem is the "(A leaf Falls)". Cummings does this to show us what loneliness is, which is what this poem is about. Everyone has seen a leaf fall at some point in their lives, and it gives off a forlorn feeling because it symbolizes the end of summer and the coming of hard, dark, wintery times. We all feel lonely in our lives and when we are lonely, everything feels dark and like the winter is coming. The parenthetical idea Cummings places in this poem gives us these emotions that we can all relate to and feel constantly feel in our lives.
Cummings uses stressed and unstressed syllable
by stressing every single syllable in this poem to
give the poem the effect of "a leaf falling" to the ground. The stressed and unstressed syllables
give the poem movement.
Cummings uses alliteration in the first line "maggie and milly and molly and may" and also throughout the poem choosing words like "stranded star" and "blowing bubbles." He does this to emphasize his idea and again, mimic the rhythm of a nursery rhyme.
The alliteration helps create the nursery rhyme feel, but we know that this poem isn't just about a trip to the beach.
ee Cummings uses an unorthodox nursery rhyme scheme to establish the theme of death in his poem. The first two lines are end rhyming. Let's compare ee Cummings to another well-known.
I.E. "Little Miss Muffet/sat on her tuffet"
The rhyme scheme to "Little Miss Muffet" is a,a,b,c,c,b.
ee Cummings's scheme for this poem is a,a,b,c,d,e,b,c,f,f,g,g.
Reading through, one would anticipate for the poem to fit the stereotypical nursery rhyme scheme. However, with the break from the norm, Cummings alerts the reader that this poem is not so innocent in nature.
accurately dead les anglais
sont gentils et les americains
aussi, ils payent bien les americans dance
exactly in my brain voulez
vous choucher avec
moi? Non? pourquoi?)
dead precisely dance
where has danced la
Manon, cinq rue Henri Mounier
maggie and milly and molly and may
went down to the beach (to play one day)
and maggie discovered a shell that sang
so sweetly she couldn't remember her troubles, and
milly befriended a stranded star
whose ray five languid fingers were;
and molly was chased by a horrible thing
which raced sideways while blowing bubbles, and
may came home with a smooth round stone
as small as a world and as large as alone.
For whatever we lose (like a you or a me)
It's always ourselves we find in the sea
lines 25 to 35
E E Cummings was a pacifist but when world war one came about he wanted to help the cause, so he joined an ambulance group in France
Because of organizational mishaps he ended up with a five week vacation
there he and his friend meet Mimi and Minette and Marie, two of which are mentioned in the full poem
Lets just say there were fewer taboos in Paris
I carry your heart
Cumming's intent when writing this poem was to mimic the innocence found in the nursery. However, the rhyme scheme doesn't exactly (mimic) that of an ordinary nursery rhyme. There is an air that's unsettling. Something about the poem is not so innocent in nature much like the moral of "Ring-Around-the-Rosie" which is about the bubonic plague; this poem is about suicide. Maggie found peace from her thoughts, Milly found solace in the starfish, Molly was fearful of something and ran from it, and May's stone was symbolic for her own being; small and alone in the world. all four scenarios describe situation that might push one off the edge. When all becomes hopeless, one can find oneself again in death. The waves of the sea will drown Maggie's troubles, keep Milly company, allow Molly to hide, and make sure May isn't alone.
I think this poem really sheds light on nursery rhymes. What may look like an innocent poem about a trip to the beach is really about using death to escape one's problems. I really liked the symbolism. Even though ee Cummings kept to the themes of innocence using "sang," "befriended," and "bubbles," he still effectively used "innocent" words to describe an "adult" problem. The juxtaposition of innocence and death is beautiful adding to the poignancy of the poem.
literary rhetorical devices and analysis
This poem puts into perspective what loneliness feels like. Everyone in the world feels lonely. It's inevitable. Just like how there are millions of people in the world and all of them feel lonely, there are millions of leaves on millions of trees, and when they fall to the ground, they are all alone.
I felt that this poem was very affective in Cummings making his point and sharing his feelings.I liked how short the poem was and how he used only a few words to express so many deep emotions. Apart from loneliness and a leaf falls, the l and oneliness are separated really emphasizing that loneliness and being completely by one's self.
E. E. Cummings real name was Edward Estlin Cummings.
He was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
He attended Harvard University.
There he studied under Shakespearean Scholars gaining a classical education.
His mom introduced him to writing.
He wrote his first poem when he was 3 years old "O, The Pretty Birdie, O; with his little toe toe toe."
He wrote a poem every single day of his life from the time he was 8 until the time he was 22 years old.
Analysis and Critique
It's obvious that as you read this poem there is really no rhyme scheme or pattern being followed. By using free verse E E Cummings gives his poem the air of conversation; a conversation had with Parisian prostitutes.
In this poem E E Cummings goes back and forth between French and English. Because this particular poem is set in Paris, it can be assumed that the changes between the two languages is also meant to continue the air of conversation. In other parts of the poem, however, what is written in french is a bit explicit and so his use of French could also be an allusion to the common saying "Pardon my French." Which is often said when someone is excusing their profanity.
Analysis & Critique
Aside from this poem being a conversation between Cummings and and a few "ladies," it's possible that it also is about a battle with one's morals. The words "la guerre [the war]" appear quite often in this poem, though it could be that he is referring to the war that was taking place at the time, it could also be a war with one's values. In another part of this poem he says "(Marie-Vierge-Priez-Pour-Nous)"(Lines 14-18) which translates to "Mary, virgin, pray for us." When someone asks to be prayed for it's normally because they need help. And because he is specifically asking the Virgin Mary to pray for him and a few prostitutes it can be assumed that he might be experiencing guilt because he knows that what he is doing is wrong from a Christian point of view,but throughout the rest of the poem you can see that the guilt only plagues him slightly.
L(a le af fa ll s) one l iness
I personally thought that this poem was kinda cool, even though whatever was written in French was explicit I thought the mix of both French and English made this poem unique. I thought he use of French to hide the profanity was pretty clever.