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1(a... (a leaf falls on loneliness)

e.e. cummings

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Added by: Holly
This poem is brilliant. e.e. cummings describes loneliness as a tree trying to hold onto its branch......then slowly drifts down to the ground...in a very sad way. Nobody was their life to be based on loneliness.
Concrete or Pattern poems
Added by: Booba the Scooba
You could be thinking of concrete or pattern poems; I ran across an anthology a while back with concrete, dada, and surrealist writers, and one of the poems used calligraphy to mimic the motion of a falling leaf, and it was quite good, though it was some obscure french or german guy, not Cummings.
Added by: a kid
whoever said that people only like this poem cause cummings wrote it.... well let me tell you something. i am in 10th grade and i have a fondness for poetry but i dont study individual poets and what not. anyway after seeing this poem (having no clue who the author was) i decided it was the coolest poem i had ever seen. he manages to get away from the sappiness of so many poems while still talking about a sensitive subject. death. and the genious in all the little things like having a paranthesis at the start to seperate the 1, its all amazing. the only other poet who has evoked so much feelings for poetry in me is steve connell, simply because he is amazing in person.
Added by: graycie
re: the leaf twisting as it falls -- look at the line breaks for 'af' and 'fa'. Both sides of the leaf -- as it twists and falls.
ee cummings "a leaf falls" poem
Added by: Jim Keller
I was first turned onto this poem in about 1964, which has remained one of my all-time favorites, by a friend, Bob, who deserves the credit for my addition to this analysis:

Clearly, since the letter "1" and the numeral "l" were the same on the typewriters of the day, cummings had deconstructed the word "loneliness."

What he realized was that in concrete poetic terms, and in an almost duChampian serendipitous discovery (duChamp was the "readymades" artist), is that the word "loneliness" is very much equal to the state of "one-one-li-ness" (i.e., “1-one-li-ness”) with the wistful image of a leaf falling into the poetic space completing the image of being alone and lonely, say, on a fall day in a park and observing the leaf......
I- ness
Added by: the Man Beyond
pure genius, how the last line (and the poem itself)illustrates the beauty of introspection and solitude

cummings poem correction
Added by: Brynna
the form/text of this poem is actually as follows:





and it reads "a leaf falls" in parenthesis inside "loneliness." There is no "1" or "on" in it.
This poem is stupid
Added by: Craig Truglia
I'm not an ignorant person, I am very well read, and this poem is pure crap. Okay, he's lonely, okay he makes mention of how a leaf falls alone and depression is felt alone, okay, fall is the beginning of the end and he is all sad and lonely and his state is irreversible.

Big deal. The guy was obviously drunk or something, wrote a simple line, and split it apart. It is not genius, it is just stupid. You want a work of genius, try reading Yevgeni Zamyatin.

Something so simple and stupid does not deserve praise. I can tell it was written to sound deeper than it really is.
Seeing through his eyes...
Added by: Lizette
Exquisite.So much beauty and meaning in so few words and space!

It drives yourself to an unique moment when you can actually feel and see trhrough his souleyes the beauty of an only leaf falling, One Iness which carries in itself all the creation yet such unique individuality in this eternal existence!

I also perceive, since he begins with "I",that the author identifies himself with the leaf
(a blending of selves) so, that in this magicalmoment when the leaf gently falls, they become one."one I ness"
Added by: Lisa G.
I love the way Cummings evokes loneliness so simply yet poignantly in this poem. I think using the image of a single falling leaf to represent a lonely person effectively conveys the abstract feeling of loneliness in words, which is difficult to do. Maybe I can't really explain, but whenever I read this poem I do feel the loneliness.

Anyhow, nobody so far has mentioned the "l" after "one," which would also look like a 1 when typed out on the old typewriters. This would make it look like one-one-one-i-ness. I read this in a book some time ago.

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