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if everything happens that can't be done

if everything happens that can't be done


by E.E. Cummings

Analysis: 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, we promise.

In fact, this poem sounds just like the actions from each stanza's second set of parentheses: running, leaping, and shouting with joy. And what's more fun than that?

This poem is so full of noise and life that it sounds like a whole group of children has gone out to recess and is playing a game in which they run, hop, skip and giggle as much as possible, having fun in the sun.

Plus, it has that repetitive quality that children's games often do. The repeated rhymes and consistent structure, the simple words and the rollicking rhythms – they all come right out of a child's playbook. How bout a game of Ring Around the Rosie, Shmoopers?

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