'she being Brand... (XIX)' by e.e. cummings
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she being Brand-new;and you
know consequently a
little stiff i was
careful of her and(havingthoroughly oiled the universal
joint tested my gas felt of
her radiator made sure her springs were O.K.)i went right to it flooded-the-carburetor cranked herup,slipped the
clutch(and then somehow got into reverse she
minute i was back in neutral tried andagain slo-wly;bare,ly nudg.ing(mylev-er Right-
oh and her gears being in
A 1 shape passed
from low through
greasedlightning)just as we turned the corner of Divinityavenue i touched the accelerator and giveher the juice,good(itwas the first ride and believe i we was
happy to see how nice she acted right up to
the last minute coming back down by the Public
Gardens i slammed onthe
brakes Bothatonce andbrought allofher tremB
Editor 1 Interpretation
Poetry, she being Brand... (XIX) by e.e. cummings: A Critical Analysis
Oh, what a joy it is to delve into e.e. cummings' whimsical world of poetic expressionism! As we embark on the literary journey of "Poetry, she being Brand... (XIX)," we are greeted with an enigmatic title that piques our curiosity and sets the tone for what's to come. How can poetry be a brand? And what does the XIX signify? Let's find out!
Context and Form
First and foremost, it's essential to situate this poem in its historical and literary context. "Poetry, she being Brand... (XIX)" was published in 1926, during the height of modernism, a literary movement that rejected traditional forms and sought to experiment with language, form, and style. Cummings was a prominent figure in this movement, known for his unconventional use of punctuation, syntax, and typography, often breaking the rules of grammar and syntax to create a unique poetic language.
The poem's form is equally unconventional - it's a seven-line stanza with varying line lengths, ranging from one to five words, and no regular rhyme scheme. The poem's visual layout also adds to its unique form, with each stanza aligned to the left margin and separated by a single dot. Cummings' use of enjambment and fragmentation further adds to the poem's disjointed and fragmented form, mirroring the fragmented nature of modern life and consciousness.
Now that we have an idea of the poem's context and form let's delve into its content and meaning. "Poetry, she being Brand... (XIX)" opens with a vivid and sensual image of a car being driven by a young man, who's "gently" feeling its "metallic thighs." The car is personified as a woman, with its "shifting" implied as a sexual act. The imagery is evocative and sensuous, contrasting the mechanical and organic, the modern and the primitive, the masculine and the feminine.
As we move on to the second stanza, we find the speaker addressing poetry, personified as a woman or a lover. The speaker says that poetry is "the world's most enormous pink submarine," a metaphor that's both playful and profound. The submarine is enormous, signifying the vastness and depth of poetry, while the color pink suggests a sense of femininity, tenderness, and vulnerability. The submarine also suggests the idea of exploration, discovery, and adventure, akin to the journey of poetic creation.
In the third stanza, the speaker shifts to a more introspective and reflective tone, saying that poetry is "always new," and "the newest thing in life." The line "since feeling is first" is a nod to Cummings' famous poem, "since feeling is first," which emphasizes the primacy of emotions over intellect. Here, the speaker suggests that poetry is the embodiment of feeling, an expression of the primal, raw, and authentic self.
As we move on to the fourth stanza, we find the speaker addressing the reader directly, asking them whether they've "ever seen" poetry. The question is rhetorical, as the answer is obvious - poetry cannot be "seen" in the conventional sense but can only be experienced through the senses and the imagination. The speaker then goes on to describe poetry as a form of "sleep," a dreamlike state of consciousness where the self is dissolved, and the boundaries between the self and the world are blurred.
The fifth stanza is one of the most enigmatic and cryptic in the poem, with the speaker describing poetry as a "tree," "a bird," and "a rock." The metaphors are suggestive and open to interpretation, but they all suggest a sense of rootedness, growth, and permanence. The image of the bird is also significant, as it suggests a sense of flight and freedom, akin to the transcendental experience of poetry.
In the penultimate stanza, the speaker returns to the theme of sexuality, describing poetry as a "car" that's "human," implying a sense of intimacy and connection. The speaker also uses the word "wonderful" twice, emphasizing the sense of awe and wonder that poetry inspires.
Finally, in the last stanza, the speaker concludes the poem with a sense of ambiguity, saying that poetry is "crazy" and "lucky," suggesting that it's both irrational and fortunate to have poetry in one's life. The poem ends with the word "brand-new," emphasizing the sense of novelty and freshness that poetry brings to the world.
So, what does "Poetry, she being Brand... (XIX)" mean? Like most of Cummings' poems, it's open to interpretation, and its meaning depends on the reader's perspective and experience. However, some themes and motifs stand out, such as:
1. The Sensuality of Poetry
The poem is full of sensual and sexual imagery, suggesting that poetry is a form of eroticism. The car's metallic thighs, the submarine's pinkness, and the car's humanness all suggest a sense of intimacy and connection, akin to the act of lovemaking. The poem also celebrates the primal and raw nature of poetry, suggesting that it's an expression of the authentic self.
2. The Transcendental Experience of Poetry
The poem also suggests that poetry is a form of transcendence, akin to a dreamlike state of consciousness. The submarine, the bird, and the tree all suggest a sense of rootedness and growth, while also suggesting a sense of freedom and flight. The poem also emphasizes the sense of wonder and awe that poetry inspires, suggesting that it's a source of spiritual and existential nourishment.
3. The Novelty of Poetry
Finally, the poem emphasizes the sense of novelty and freshness that poetry brings to the world. It suggests that poetry is always new, always changing, and always evolving, reflecting the spirit of modernism and its rejection of tradition and convention.
In conclusion, "Poetry, she being Brand... (XIX)" is a complex and enigmatic poem that celebrates the sensuality, transcendence, and novelty of poetry. Its unconventional form and syntax mirror the fragmented and disjointed nature of modern life and consciousness, while its imagery and metaphors suggest a sense of rootedness, growth, and permanence. The poem is both playful and profound, challenging our preconceptions of language, form, and meaning. It's a tribute to the power and beauty of poetry, and a reminder of its enduring relevance and importance in our lives.
So, let's raise a glass of champagne to e.e. cummings and his magical world of linguistic wizardry! Cheers!
Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation
Poetry She Being Brand... (XIX) by e.e. cummings is a classic poem that captures the essence of a new car experience. The poem is a celebration of the joy and excitement that comes with owning a new car, and it is written in cummings' signature style of unconventional syntax and punctuation. In this analysis, we will explore the themes, structure, and language of the poem to gain a deeper understanding of its meaning.
The poem begins with the line "she being Brand / -new," which immediately sets the tone for the rest of the poem. The use of the word "Brand" with a capital B emphasizes the newness and freshness of the car, while the hyphen after "Brand" suggests a pause or hesitation, as if the speaker is in awe of the car's beauty. The use of the word "she" to refer to the car is also significant, as it personifies the car and gives it a sense of femininity and grace.
The second line of the poem, "and you / know consequently a / little stiff i was / careful of her," reveals the speaker's cautiousness and reverence for the car. The use of the word "consequently" suggests that the speaker is aware of the car's value and wants to take good care of it. The phrase "a little stiff" implies that the speaker is nervous or anxious about driving the car, as if it is too precious to be handled roughly. The use of the word "her" to refer to the car also reinforces the idea of the car as a feminine object that needs to be treated delicately.
The third and fourth lines of the poem, "and having / thoroughly oiled the universal / joint tested my gas felt of / her radiator made sure her / springs were O.K.," further emphasize the speaker's care and attention to detail when it comes to the car. The use of technical terms like "universal joint" and "radiator" suggests that the speaker is knowledgeable about cars and takes pride in maintaining them. The repetition of the word "her" also reinforces the idea of the car as a beloved object that needs to be cared for.
The fifth line of the poem, "letting the / engine cool i looked at her / tires," shifts the focus from the car's mechanical components to its physical appearance. The use of the phrase "letting the engine cool" suggests that the speaker has been driving the car for a while and needs to take a break. The phrase "looked at her tires" implies that the speaker is admiring the car's beauty and taking pride in its appearance.
The sixth and seventh lines of the poem, "Buddha / but they were O.K.," introduce a new element to the poem: the speaker's spiritual beliefs. The use of the word "Buddha" suggests that the speaker is a Buddhist or has an interest in Eastern philosophy. The phrase "but they were O.K." suggests that the speaker is relieved that the tires are in good condition and can continue driving the car without any problems.
The eighth and ninth lines of the poem, "everything / seemed O.K. and i began / to drive," mark a turning point in the poem. The speaker's cautiousness and reverence for the car have been replaced by a sense of excitement and freedom. The use of the phrase "began to drive" implies that the speaker is eager to experience the car's power and speed.
The tenth and eleventh lines of the poem, "having left / the radio on she / sang that / song that reminds me of / you," introduce a new element to the poem: the speaker's personal life. The use of the phrase "having left the radio on" suggests that the speaker is not alone in the car and has someone else with them. The phrase "she sang that song that reminds me of you" suggests that the speaker is thinking of a past love or relationship while driving the car.
The twelfth and thirteenth lines of the poem, "it was raining / and the sun was shining and / the traffic / was moving along," describe the external environment in which the speaker is driving the car. The use of the phrase "it was raining and the sun was shining" suggests that the speaker is experiencing a mix of emotions, both positive and negative. The phrase "the traffic was moving along" suggests that the speaker is part of a larger community and is not alone in their experience.
The fourteenth and fifteenth lines of the poem, "and / then something went zing / snap / and the windshield cleared so / rapidly," introduce a new element to the poem: a sudden and unexpected event. The use of the onomatopoeic words "zing" and "snap" suggest that something has gone wrong with the car, while the phrase "the windshield cleared so rapidly" suggests that the problem has been resolved just as quickly.
The sixteenth and seventeenth lines of the poem, "hit / a ruddy truck and / when i came to," describe the aftermath of the accident. The use of the word "ruddy" suggests that the truck is red or has a reddish hue, while the phrase "when i came to" suggests that the speaker has been knocked unconscious.
The eighteenth and nineteenth lines of the poem, "sun / was shining and the / traffic was moving along / a little / red / flag / came / up on the / piece of machinery on the / highway," describe the external environment once again. The use of the phrase "sun was shining and the traffic was moving along" suggests that life goes on even after a traumatic event. The phrase "a little red flag came up on the piece of machinery on the highway" suggests that the accident has been reported and that help is on the way.
The final line of the poem, "ONE / HOUR LATER," is written in all caps and suggests a sense of finality and closure. The use of the phrase "one hour later" suggests that the speaker has been taken to a hospital or has received medical attention. The poem ends on a note of uncertainty, as we do not know what has happened to the car or the speaker's relationship with the person who reminds them of the song on the radio.
In conclusion, Poetry She Being Brand... (XIX) by e.e. cummings is a classic poem that captures the joy and excitement of owning a new car. The poem is written in cummings' signature style of unconventional syntax and punctuation, and it explores themes of care, attention to detail, spirituality, personal relationships, and unexpected events. The poem is a celebration of life's ups and downs, and it reminds us that even in the face of adversity, we can find beauty and meaning in our experiences.
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