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Poetry is a form of literature that expresses and individual's thoughts and feelings that are put into words illustrating vivid images. E. E. Cummings is a poet who writes in a manner of originality and excitement. Two of his well-known and thoroughly studied poems are Somewhere I have Never Travelled and Pity This Busy Monster, where poetry is written with expressive metaphors and similes, a vivid persona being revealed and a difference in environments being pleasant and harsh. This essay depicts poetic devices of metaphors, persona, euphony and cacophony. Poetic devices are important for analysis and to interpret the message of the poem by the audience that the speaker is trying to describe and illustrate.
E.E. Cummings uses many comparative terms to express his deepest feelings and thoughts through his poetry. In the poem Somewhere I have never Travelled contains many metaphoric phrases and similies to describe the emotions behind his poem. In the first stanza and the first line of the poem, the word "travelled" (603) is metaphoricaly used to explain a journey the speaker is experiencing especially a positive one that is decribed by the word "gladly" (603). In the phrase, "your eyes have their silence" (603) the speaker is referring to another person whose eyes show no expression of love or interest, just as silence is an absence of communication. The metaphoric phrase, "in your most frail gensture are things which enclose me, or which I cannot touch because they are too near" (603), descrives the feelings the speaker has created towards this woman by her actions and gestures, but prevent him from opening up to her, portrayed by the word "enclose" (603). He feels like he cannot be open with this woman because she has not showed the same true, passionate feelings he has for her. By the end of the first stanza, there contains many metaphors expressing the theme of love to this woman, especially the real journey the speaker takes through this woman's eyes.
In the second and third stanzas, similes are used to compare his love to this woman with nature. Firstly, "your slightest look easily will unclose me though I have closed myself as fingers," (603) begins to depict the feelings of him holding back his feelings, just as fingers are tightly closed into a fist. The speaker also starts to express his feelings of this woman through a rose, "your open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens (touching skillfully, mysteriously) her first rose" (603). He describes this woman being a beautiful wonder, for as time goes by the woman slowly reveals herself to him and he loves even more. In the final stanza the speaker states "not even the rain, has such small hands" (604). Rain has such a huge impact on earth, even it being the smallest in size. Rain can shape rocks, can form mountains and works slowly but leaves wondrous effects. The speaker personifies rain as having hands, being small but having so much influence. This leads to the character of the woman having such a great influence and impact to the speaker's life and emotions. Looking through all the metaphors, all her "slightest glances" and "frail gestures" are things which are changing him in a way that is so extraordinary, just as rain has a powerful influence on the world.
In Somewhere I have never travelled, the poem's persona is portrayed as a humble man in love. The humility is shown by the lack of capitalization, specifically in the pronoun, "I", which supports the speakers' extreme devotion to his lover. By rejecting the pronoun, the speaker assumes a casual humbleness and modesty. He is totally giving away any power he has over himself, even his life and death, to his beloved. He is so submissive and meek that he does not capitalize any of the words throughout the entire poem. The speaker does not want to call attention to any particular part in the poem, hence the lack of capitalization. He wants the audience to understand the passion and beauty of love he has for this woman.
All throughout the poem, the poetic device euphony is emphasized. Euphony is referred as a pleasant spoken sound that is depicted and laid out by the audience. He uses nature as an image to portray the loving atmosphere that is being delivered. Simple and elegant words like "rose" or "Spring" (603) are soothing words that describe a new beginning or experience for nature, but can be personified to describe a person you find a new journey with. He uses sensual words to describe his feelings of excitement and happinss such as "slightest look" or "touching skillfully" (603). These words depict the feelings and emotions that arise from her natural movements. The speaker also describes his love so pleasantly through body parts with words like "eyes" or "heart" (603) that are words that significantly reflect love and affection. The most affectionate phrase that reflects a positive atmosphere of love and care is only something in me understands the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses" (603). This phrase allows the audience to understand that no one sees anything as deep and as far as what the speaker sees in this woman. Many roses catch many people's eyes and attention to be elegant and beautiful, but this woman is way more extravagant then that.
The poem Pity This Busy Monster also lays out thoughts and feelings of society through many metaphors but no prominent similes. The most relevant is "pity this Busy Monster, manunkind, not" (606), which implies to reveal sympathy to humankind represented as monsters. Humankind has led lives of comfort and reliability on technology and new inventions that has allowed our everyday routines to be easier. The newly formed term "manunkind" (606) is referring to the opposite definition of mankind. The speaker is describing "manunkind" (606) as humanity being hectic and strenuous. It is quite evident that the speaker has a negative outlook on humanity and the actions humanity has taken to make life comfortable. Through this line alone, the speaker is explaining how every aspect of an individual's le that interacts with technology has turned them into a monster. However, by the end of the line the speaker states "not" because he wants the audience to understand that there is no reason to take pity on humankind, when we have turned to technology for assistance in our lives. Through this metaphor, the main theme of humanity is revealed and explored. Another important metaphor that is expressed is "we doctors know a hopeless case" (606. This illustrates that doctors are representing humans and society, by this we all are aware of the fact that leading out lives in such a manner results at a point where it would be incredibly difficult to change back to ways before technology came into play.
The persona of this particular poem is the speaker portraying hatred and disappointment towards society and humankind. Throughout this poem the speaker does not refer to himself personally, through the pronoun "I" or "me", but included himself through the pronoun "we" (606). The speaker is considering themselves to be part of this inadequate and victimized society. The speaker wants the audience to recognize that the poem is not pertaining to the speaker directly, but what the speaker feels humanity has turned into. The speaker also uses the term "monster" (606), which is personified to be dangerous and scary. This reveals the level of the speakers' thoughts and feelings on what technology and other entities humanity has turned to in order to make their lives content.
By the use of words and terms in this poem, the speaker exposes a device known as cacophony. Cacophony means to be harsh sounding and this is vividly illustrated throughout this poem. With words like "monster", "disease", "victim", and even "hell" (606) expose feelings of danger and being afraid. Monster is used in the title and in the first line of the poem, to allow the audience to be afraid of what this speaker is about to reveal. A disease is something humanity gets exposed to and effects an individual's well being. The speaker is reflecting on the fact that technology is affecting people's everyday lives and health. Additionally, the word victim expresses an individual in danger and has been put into danger by a criminal, referred to in the poem as technology. Finally, the word hell is implied to a place of fire, damage and destruction. The speaker is expressing his fear of what technology and what society has turned to depend on to destroy our lives. All these words conclude to one surrounding environment of negativity and destruction.
Interpretation of poetry comes from understanding the metaphors that are written, the persona the poet is writing in and the environment sounding of the poem, whether it is pleasant or harsh. Both poems by E. E. Cummings reveals these poetic devices in great emphasize for the audience to comprehend. The speakers in both poems were discovered to be two different individuals with various thoughts, one being in love and the other disappointed in societies' dependence on technology. The use of metaphors and similes has assisted in appreciating the reasoning behind writing the poems. Euphony and cacophony describe the sound of the poems that are explicitly illustrated. Interpreting the feelings love and the unkind thoughts towards society has helped the audience to understand other peoples' perspective on situations that arise in our daily lives.