© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond

somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond


by E. E. Cummings

Analysis: Calling Card

mr avant: Garde ))))

If you knew anything about Cummings before you started clicking through this guide, you probably knew that he's the dude who said "whatevs" to capitalization, or at least had a lot of fun breaking the rules of it. You might've noticed in "somewhere i have never traveled, gladly beyond" that he doesn't capitalize "i" when the speaker refers to himself. This is a major calling card for Cummings, and many have scratched their head as to why he chose to do this. Is it a gesture of humility? Maybe, maybe not. Of course, Cummings doesn't always use lowercase letters, and when he chooses to capitalize a word it really pops, like in this poem where he capitalizes "Spring"—one of his favorite subjects.

Cummings is also known for getting all avant garde with syntax, warping each sentence into his own weird world, not really caring if they make sense in a logical way. No mark of punctuation in a Cummings poem is safe from his experiments either. In "somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond," he does whatever the heck he wants with commas, semicolons, and colons, bending them all to his unique artistic vision. Cummings also gets crazy with spacing, sometimes spreading words all over the page to create poems whose visual presentation is just as important as the words themselves. "somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond" is far from the most drastic example of this, but you get a taste of it in the way he smooshes words together, like in the title itself. You can also get more examples of his boldly experimental style here and here.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...