Study Guide

if everything happens that can't be done Calling Card

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Calling Card


E.E. Cummings loves to play with words. Of course, many poets play with words, but Cummings has an astonishing knack for it. Not only does he come up with new words, he makes us think new things about old words by simply using them in entirely different ways from what we're used to.

He'll take a simple word, like "something," a word which most people just gloss right over, and explore its meanings and uses in new and fascinating ways. Cummings's poems are about words, and how they work and fit together, as much as they're about anything else, and "if everything happens that can't be done" is no exception.

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