Thursday, September 23, 2010

"next to of course god america i" by E. E. Cummings

When I saw the author of this poem, I was actually a little excited to read it. I've heard that he is a phenomenal writer, and I am aware that many of his works are considered classics. What I liked most about this poem was how different it was. The way it was grammatically structured was by far different from all of the others. There were no spaces or pauses, almost forcing the reader to speed up as they read. The tone of the speaker sounded excited and passionate, and as the reader I could visualize a person picking up speed while talking to try and cram in everything they wanted to say. This poem was filled with random patriotic phrases like "oh say can you see by the dawn's early", or "my country 'tis of", which were both fragments and allusions towards well-known patriotic songs in our nation's history. By the end, I had sort of gotten the vibe that this was a satirical piece aimed towards politicians. It appeared to me that E. E. Cummings was making fun of people who spout off patriotic cliches and make grand speeches to the public. I can't say that I disagree with him because, let's face it, to be honest politicians are an easy target for criticism. The last thing I found intriguing was the title. Through the title, the speaker makes is a poem of direct address towards America hinting that he loves it next to God himself. That's a rather strong committment I'd say. I'm curious as to whether that was a further part of the satire and whether he was making fun of a politician's proclaimed love for his country or not.

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