Study Guide

in Just- Language and Communication

By E.E. Cummings

Language and Communication

in Just-
spring when the world is mud-
luscious (1-3)

These lines almost seem to split along a vertical line. The phrase ends mid-line 2, which the long space between "spring" and "when" allows us to see.

luscious the little
lame balloonman (3-4)

That’s a lot of "l"s in one line! Have you noticed that when you pronounce an "l," you close off your mouth? That seems to run counter to the sorts of opening and growing that goes on during spring.

whistles far and wee (5)

The spaces between words communicate almost as much as the words themselves. Here, the spaces literally enact how far the whistles travel.

eddieandbill (6)

Jamming two people’s names together gives this line all the breathless excitement that Eddie and Bill must feel when they hear the balloonman’s whistle.

it's
spring
and
the

goat-footed

balloonMan whistles
far
and
wee (15-23)

For a poem about youth, this ending is a bit strange, right? We’re left with the balloonMan, whose calls are now directed at…us?