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if everything happens that can't be done

if everything happens that can't be done

by E.E. Cummings

Education Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

the stupidest teacher will almost guess (5)

After we hear the second through fourth lines claiming that books don't always plan things right, we hear about the "stupidest teacher." The poem has a negative attitude towards books and school the whole way through, which stands out because the rest of the poem is so positive.

Quote #2

(with a run
skip
around we go yes) (6-8)

Now, you might be thinking, how do these lines relate to education? Our answer is that perhaps these lines relate to one of the parts of education we think our speaker likes: recess. Throughout the poem, many of the parentheses contain lines that express a joy like you'd find in a playground.

Quote #3

(and buds know better
than books
don't grow) (11-13)

Here we get a little bit of book bashing. Except it's not quite bashing. He's just saying, "Hey, buds, the first fresh growth of nature, know better than books." Even though we don't expect books to grow, these lines point that out as something wrong about books. Maybe, the lines suggest, the ability to grow is more important than we realize, and books can't grow because, well, you can't add more words to them, can you?

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