Study Guide

All in green went my love riding Appearances

By E.E. Cummings

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Sure, "All in green" seems to be a fairly straightforward story about a hunt. But Cummings takes all kinds of detours along the way, lingering to describe the running deer, the crouching hounds, or the valleys through which they travel. In fact, if you were to draw up a pie chart measuring how much of the poem is spent in describing how things looked, we'd be willing to bet that it would be one hefty slice of pie. (Mmm… pie.) There seem to be two threads weaving through this poem: one is a narrative of human love, but the other is a gorgeous display of natural beauty.

Questions About Appearances

  1. What season does this seem to be? How can you tell?
  2. Why do you think that Cummings uses different adjectives for the dogs and deer but the same one for the dawn?
  3. What does the speaker's lover look like? How do you know? 
  4. Does the love that the speaker experiences color the poem's descriptions of how things look? If so, what things and how are they described?

Chew on This

Love? Puh-leease. The true subject of this poem is nature itself.

The landscape seems to bend around animals in this poem, distorting readers' perspectives on what is permanent and what is fleeting (trippy, we know).

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