Thursday, December 09, 2004

More on e.e. cummings

Thanks to Carson for giving new insight into the time in which e.e. cummings lived. Carson writes that cummings would have lived in a era when the "l" (el) on the typewriter was used to write not only the letter "l", but also the number "1" (one).

Fascinating, especially in the context of the alienation and lonliness inherent in the poem. The number one is, of course, "the loneliest number." So, visually, we can view that first letter as the number one, which adds to that sense of loneliness.

Also, the letters after the parentheses spell "oneliness," or "one-liness." Now cummings is really playing with us: "1", or "one-liness," equals "loneliness."

Love this poem.

1 comment:

WhiteTrashBBQ said...

My dear,
I lived in a time when the "l" on a keyboard was used both as the letter and a number one. AND I'm only 42!
But, I know that I'm old now.