Study Guide

my father moved through dooms of love Setting

By E. E. Cummings

Setting

"my father moved through dooms of love" doesn't have a specific setting, but if we had to dream one up, it would probably be a funeral. We imagine the speaker standing by his father's grave as the coffin is being lowered into the ground. There are lots of images in the poem that remind us of graves. Lines like "newly as from unburied which" (9) and "as earth will downward climb" (2) give us a sense of a gravesite.

It would make sense for this elegy to be the eulogy at the father's service. Some might imagine the speaker proclaiming it to a sniffling crowd, hiding in their tissues. But the sentiments are so intimate and the style is so stream of consciousness that we imagine it as being all in the speaker's head. The speaker's head, in fact, may be the most identifiable setting for this poem. These are the splintered thoughts racing through his mind, and we get to trace their paths as he imagines all the seasons of his father's life, and with his father's soul as it soars into the great big whatever that lies beyond the dark of the grave.

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