From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
if everything happens that can't be done

if everything happens that can't be done

  

by E.E. Cummings

Analysis: Setting

Where It All Goes Down

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 where children are enjoying their recess. It's likely that this playground is just in our speaker's head, but, nonetheless, the poem has a childish glee.

More important than the physical place where this poem is set, though, is the type of world this place is. We know from the first line of the poem that this piece is going to describe a world in which "everything happens that can't be done." In other words, nothing is impossible in this world, so when we read we should drop any skepticism that we've picked up from years of living in a world with limits.

In this poem, love can be brighter than the sun, the world can be a leaf, far can be near, anything can be everything, and even "everyanything." Everything is happening, all at once, and it couldn't be more wonderful.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...

Advertisement