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if everything happens that can't be done

if everything happens that can't be done


by E.E. Cummings

if everything happens that can't be done Analysis

Symbols, Imagery, Wordplay

Form and Meter

The structure in this poem can be so tricky to spot, we're willing to bet that most people who give this poem a light read, especially without reading it out loud, might miss out on the patterns wi...


This speaker doesn't come right out and tell us much about himself, but we Shmoop sleuths can guess a good bit about what he might be like, based on what he has written. Most importantly, we know t...


Though we can't be exactly sure where this poem is set, the references to teachers, books, nature, and the childish actions seen in the parentheses make the poem seem like it's set at a playground...

Sound Check

This poem has a pretty complicated form, which you can read about in our "Form and Meter" section, but it somehow still sounds simple, free, and easy. Go ahead, read it aloud to yourself. It's fun,...

What's Up With the Title?

Technically speaking, this poem doesn't actually have a title. But lucky for you, we'll talk about it anyways. Like many of Cummings's poems, this piece is simply known by its first line. It's not...

Calling Card

E.E. Cummings loves to play with words. Of course, many poets play with words, but Cummings has an astonishing knack for it. Not only does he come up with new words, he makes us think new things ab...


The funny thing about the difficulty level of this poem is that, if you read it with an open mind, it's pretty easy to feel, if not understand, what the poem is saying. But if your mind is closed b...


Cummings did some time in a French detention center during World War I, on false grounds of treason. Yikes. (Source.)Cummings was not only a poet, but a painter and artist as well. No wonder he's s...

Steaminess Rating

There are two people in love in this poem, but sex is nowhere to be found.

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