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Analysis: Setting

Where It All Goes Down


C’mon, you guys know that there are some days that are just…Days. It’s like the Last Day of School or the Night Before Christmas. Some days are special. Almost like national holidays, they get charged will all the energy and excitement which we throw into the Fourth of July or Thanksgiving.

For Cummings, Just-spring is one of those days. It’s that first day when the sky is bright, bright, Crayola-crayon blue and those big white fluffy clouds are floating up in the sky. Sure, it’s been raining for awhile, but that just makes everything exciting. It’s sunny now. And if you’re a kid, then puddles are a total bonus. The world seems "puddle-wonderful" (10).

In fact, the setting of this poem is so monumental that it almost overtakes the rest of the poem. How many times do we get told that it’s spring? Lots. Three times, in fact, if you count "Just-spring" (1). We’re betting that Cummings doesn’t want us to forget.

That’s what makes us follow the lead of several critics who say that this poem almost verges on becoming a picture. It’s not trying to get us deep into the head of a single speaker or unravel some of huge life problem. Instead, it sketches out an scene on the first honest-to-goodness day of spring, one that’s full of running children and floating balloons and one slightly odd balloonman. You can almost see how green the grass is in the park. There’s no other word for that than "Just-spring."

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