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in Just-

in Just-

  

by E.E. Cummings

Analysis: Calling Card

all lower case. all the time.

Admit it: if you knew one thing about Cummings’s poetry before you read this poem, you probably knew that he was the guy who couldn’t be bothered to use capital letters. Heck, lots of folks even write his name "e.e. cummings." (Check out our "Websites" link for a full-fledged article on the subject.)

We can tell that E.E. Cummings didn’t live in the age of computers with auto-correct. It’d just be too annoying to have to change every sentence to make sure that the first letter was lower-case.

Once you get into his poetry, though, you see that it’s not just capitalization which makes this guy a rule-breaker. He’s all over the place with his syntax and his line breaks. In fact, his poems require looking almost as much as they require reading. That was just fine with Cummings. For him, visual art and poetry were pretty much the same thing. Why shouldn’t you look at a poem or read a painting? Exactly.

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