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This Is An Essay About How E.E. Cummings Uses Form In His Poems.

992 words - 4 pages

Form is an integral part of poetry. The form used by E. E. Cummings is quite unique, and is different in each of his poems. His poems, "nobody loses all the time," "pity this busy monster,manunkind," and "r-p-o-p-h-e-s-s-a-g-r" illustrate this fact.The poem, "nobody loses all the time" is a good representation of Cummings' work, written in no traditional form. It is 37 lines long, divided into six stanzas of six lines each, and one line standing alone at the end. This poem is unique in that it does not contain any punctuation other than apostrophes and parentheses. Cummings does not follow the traditional practice of capitalizing the first word of each line, either. In fact, the capitalization in this poem is quite unusual. Cummings does not have sentences, since there is no punctuation, so almost all of the words are written in lower-case. He does not even capitalize the word 'I.' He capitalizes only the proper nouns "Uncle Sol," "Victor Victrola," "Missouri" and "McCann," as well as the words in line five, "He Was a Diver on Xmas Eve like Hell Itself." Written in open form, this poem has a very conversational tone. The lines vary in length, showing no pattern, and there is no consistent meter. The number of accents and syllables per line varies throughout the poem as well, and all of this poem's lines are enjambed except the last. Another interesting characteristic of this poem is that it contains no clear caesurae, or pauses within a line, as it lacks punctuation. The reader can only estimate where caesurae should be. Finally, the poem has no rhyme scheme, or rhyme of any kind. These characteristics all aid in giving this poem its conversational tone, and makes it very different from his poem, "pity this busy monster,manunkind."Unlike the previous poem, "pity this busy monster,manunkind" is written in a very specific form. It is fourteen lines long, and written in blank verse-- iambic pentameter with no end rhyme. This particular poem has no internal rhyme in it, either. Like others written in blank verse, this poem contains what are called verse paragraphs. These are stanzas containing varying numbers of lines. In this poem, there are seven of these verse paragraphs, with one, two, three, two, one, three, and two lines, respectively. Cummings does manage to stray slightly away from the restrictions of iambic pentameter by using metrical substitution. Throughout the poem, a handful of trochees, as well as pyrrhics, can be found. In another digression from tradition, this poem does not have capitalization at the beginning of each line, only at the beginning of each sentence. On a similar note, only two of the poem's lines--two and fourteen--are end-stopped. This makes for many other pauses, found within the lines of the poem. Caesurae are present in lines one, two, six, eight, nine, ten, twelve, thirteen, and fourteen. Overall, for E. E. Cummings, this poem is very...

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