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!blac... (1)

e.e. cummings

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Added by: John
I'm not claiming to be a master of E. E. Cummings literature, but I thought I would voice my opinion. I think it is a poem about depression. Cummings used words to SHOW you something, not just tell you. Black is thought of as darkness, an isolation, and the use of "agains" shows the reoccurance of it. He also put parentheses around "whi" along with a question mark, showing the helplessness of a person in that situation, and he took whirling, dropped, and leaf all dropping them vertically, something he uses quite often. The I's in whirling are capitalized, showing that he was talking about himself. The leaf goes whirling? No, I go whirling.
Added by: Missy
I agree. I think that he is talking about how his life is being blackened or saddened by something, and that formerly happy parts of his life [IE white leaves] are steadily falling away.
Added by: Randall
i think it is about sadness but more then just that like he's saying that he wishes he had more in his life and everytime he gets something good it seems to just dissapear or "whirle" away, and he must have just lost something dear to him because another leaf has whirled away
Added by: jess
In this poem, Cummings has taken the instant in a thunderstorm when a flash of lightning suddenly unveils the scene. In my opinion, the exclamation point represents the thunder anticipatory to the lightning itself. The question mark represents the confusion after the sharp flash of light, so quick that you have to take a moment to register what you have seen.
Added by: Sarah
My comment is particularly based on Jess's comment. I understand your analysis and how you got the idea, but I want you to realize at the end of the poem it shows ".g". You seem to justify what the "!" and "?" means, but what about the "."?
Added by: Robert Rowlands
Perhaps the significance of ".g" is that it shows that the poem has failed to arrive at any sort of 'closure'. That the punctuation can barely rein in the violence of the words suggests a near-total collapse of order, and perhaps of meaning, which relates to the contents of the poem itself.
Added by: Lauren
When I read this poem, I felt more of a neutrality. I think it's more of a fleeting sadness, as opposed to blanketing depression.
Added by: ender
i was thinking.. couldn't this poem actually be read backwards? just reading it as if it were normal prose, it'd become something like:

whirling goes;: a leaf, dropped from which trees? sky white against black!

which, in way, kind of makes sense, no? (i'm not taking into account punctuation and the uppercase Is and whatnot yet)

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