Study Guide

All in green went my love riding Violence

By E.E. Cummings

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It's funny that so many really interesting scenes in history tend to center around the hunt. We're not talking about a metaphorical hunt, like The Hunt for Red October. No, "All in green" gives us an honest-to-goodness hunt, complete with hunters on horses, dogs and bugles, bows and arrows (oh my). Oh, and of course don't forget the deer that they're hunting. Strangely enough, even though the poem is laced with violence, we're shocked when the actual prey turns out to be the lover.

Questions About Violence

  1. Does the language used to describe the deer ever suggest that they're prey?
  2. Does the poem seem violent to you? What language from the poem would you use to back up your answer?
  3. Read the last line of the poem again. Who (or what) is "my heart"?
  4. Do you think the violence in the poem stems from passionate attraction, or passionate hatred? Why do you think so?

Chew on This

The lack of violent imagery in the poem's beginning forms a contrast to the violent scene (the hunt) and the violent ending. Where did that arrow come from, anyway?

Although the poem lacks any overtly violent imagery, its overall tone is one of aggression. Run for it.

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