Republic of the Philippines Tarlac State University COLLEGE OF EDUCATION Villa Lucinda Campus, Tarlac City 73 Poems (A Stylistic Analysis) In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements In the course EM9 Introduction to Stylistics Submitted to: Mr. Christopher Ronn Q. Pagco Instructor  (listen) this a dog barks and how crazily houses eyes people smiles  faces streets steeples are eagerly tumbl ing through wonder ful sunlight  – look – selves,stir:writhe o-p-e-n-i-n-g are(leaves;flowers)dreams ,come quickly come  run run with me now jump shout(laugh dance cry sing)for it’s Spring  irrevocably; and in earth sky trees :every where a miracle arrives  (yes) you and I may not hurry it with a thousand poems my darling  but nobody will stop it With All The Policemen In The World (E. E. Cummings, 73 Poems) Introduction Stylistic is very different from studying literature. That is why it is really difficult to do a stylistic analysis than to do a literary analysis. Because when doing a literary analysis, you just focus on the elements of the story and the theory being used. It is totally different when doing a Stylistic analysis, which you should always be based on facts.
That is why doing a stylistic analysis is really factual and complicated. In doing a stylistic analysis, we try to explain how the words in the text create feelings and meanings. I will be analyzing the 73 poems of E. E. Cummings. I will show you the stylistic features of the poem. Edward Estlin Cummings was born October 14, 1894 in the town of Cambridge Massachusetts. His father, and most constant source of awe, Edward Cummings, was a professor of Sociology and Political Science at Harvard University. In 1900, Edward left Harvard to become the ordained minister of the South Congregational Church, in Boston.
As a child, E. E. attended Cambridge public schools and lived during the summer with his family in their summer home in Silver Lake, New Hampshire. E. E. loved his childhood in Cambridge so much that he was inspired to write disputably his most famous poem, “In Just-“. Not so much in, “In Just-” but Cummings took his father’s pastoral background and used it to preach in many of his other poems. In “you shall above all things be glad and young,” Cummings preaches to the reader in verse telling them to love with naivete and innocence, rather than listen to the world and depend on their mind.
Attending Harvard, Cummings studied Greek and other languages. In college, Cummings was introduced to the writing and artistry of Ezra Pound, who was a large influence on E. E. and many other artists in his time. After graduation, Cummings volunteered for the Norton-Haries Ambulance Corps. En-route to France, Cummings met another recruit, William Slater Brown. The two became close friends, and as Brown was arrested for writing incriminating letters home, Cummings refused to separate from his friend and the two were sent to the La Ferte Mace concentration camp.
The two friends were finally freed, only due to the persuasion of Cummings’ father. E. E. Cummings experimented with poetic form and language to create a distinct personal style. A Cummings poem is spare and precise, employing a few key words eccentrically placed on the page. Some of these words were invented by Cummings, often by combining two common words into a new synthesis. He also revised grammatical and linguistic rules to suit his own purposes, using such words as “if,” “am,” and “because” as nouns, for example, or assigning his own private meanings to words.
Despite their nontraditional form, Cummings’ poems came to be popular with many readers. Stylistic Analysis Before I start the analysis itself, let me tell first my initial interpretation of the poem. This is my general interpretation of the poem. 73 poems is a book which is a collection of poems by E. E. Cummings. It has 73 pages and each poem does not have any title. The poem that I will be doing a stylistic analysis is found on page 63. The fact the E. E. Cummings did not make or put a title in each poem gives the reader the permission to give their own title. So for reference, I will use the word ‘Spring’ as a title.
Since, it is the first word in the poem written in capital letter. Cummings’ poems are difficult to interpret because they contain striking irregularities. Many of E. E. Cummings poems that I have read appear to all the joy and new things it brings in life but other works symbolizes negativity to mankind. ‘Spring’ is a reference for a new life. It is a beginning. I have related it in the life of everyone. After the winter which can be a symbol of problems and struggles, we people are happy in the fact that spring is coming which can be a symbol that every problem has its ending and solution.
When you are somehow forgetting God and not putting Him in the center of your life, it is like everything is wrong. But when you put Him in the center of your life, everything seems alright. When everything goes wrong just keep your faith. You will feel blessed and at ease at all times. And this new life with the Lord is ‘Spring’. I came up with this interpretation by merely looking at the words and by reading beyond the lines. Linguistic Stylistic Features I easily noticed that the poem consists of many nouns and verbs. NOUNSMAIN VERBSADJECTIVESADVERBS doglistenwonderfulcrazily housesbarkseasily yestumblingquickly peoplelookirrevocably smilesstir faceswrithe streetsopening steeplescome (2x) sunlightrun (2x) leavesjump flowersshout dreamslaugh earthdance skycry treessing miracleis poemsarrives policemenhurry worldstop 192114 The nouns are mostly concrete and only two are abstract (dreams and miracle). Nouns that are related to nature are dog, leaves, flowers, earth, sky, trees, miracle and world. Nouns that are related to human are houses, eyes, people, smiles, faces, streets, steeples, dreams, poems and policemen. There are no neologisms and no morphological deviation which Cummings is fond of using.
It makes use of directive verbs which addresses to another person such as (listen, look, come (2x), run (2x), jump, shout, laugh, dance, cry and sing). The most striking aspect of deviation in ‘ Spring’ is the constant use of lower case letters instead of capital letters which is known as the graphological deviation. It is very typical of Cummings’ poems so I will no longer give significance to it. Cummings’ desire is to break the normal convention. The effect of graphological deviation is to foreground the words which are written in capital letters.
Since ‘Spring’ is the first word which is written in capital letter, I can say that it plays a big role in the meaning of the poem. Some of the words are really written in a strange manner. In lines 7 and 8, Cummings divides the word tumbling so that the progressive morpheme –ing appears on a separate line. In these lines, the verb appears to tumble from one line to the next. I think it is a way for us to understand the action being done as an important concept in the poem. In lines 8 and 9, the word wonderful runs across the morphemes (wonder and ful). I can interpret it in two ways, the noun wonder and the adjective wonderful.
There is astrong element of foregrounding in the last stanza (With All The Policemen In The World) since the words start in capital letters which make it stand out. There is also lack of phonological parallelism, obvious lack of punctuation and it follows the grammatical ordering which follows the rules of syntax. Perhaps, Policemen is used because they are the stereotype example of powerful people. There is also the second pronoun (you) in line 26 and it has an addressee referred to ‘my darling’ in line 29. Suggesting that there is a romantic relationship between the speaker and whomever he is referring or addressing to.
Semantic Deviation In lines 12 and 13, (o-p-e-n-i-n-g/are(leaves;flowers)dreams). In line 13, leaves and flowers mean that they are physically opening. Dreams cannot actually open. It breaks the rule of subject-verb-object. It will be more appropriate to say the leaves and flowers are opening. It makes me arrive to the interpretation that the poet’s dreams are opening metaphorically. In line 2 (this a dog barks). The possible explanation of this is that this is used to show that the speaker is referring to a specific dog, but a is used to show that the speaker is not sure of the dog’s name.
Grammatical Deviation Cummings used much punctuation where it would not be necessary. Example is in lines 12 and 13 (o-p-e-n-i-n-g/are(leaves;flowers)dreams). This phrase is being bracketed where punctuations are not needed. In lines 3 to 6 (how crazily houses/eyes people smiles/faces streets/ steeples are eagerly) and in line 22 (earth sky trees) groups of nouns are often run together without punctuation. Cummings split the progressive participle ‘opening’ into its component letters (o-p-e-n-i-n-g). The hyphens are used to express that opening of Spring is a long, drown out process and slow.
The following line (are(leaves;flowers)dreams) contains no spaces between words and punctuation marks. Dynamic verbs such as in line 10 (-look-) which comes with hyphens on both sides, the initial verb in line 14 (,come quickly come) which starts with a comma and in line 11 (selves,stir:writhe) which is connected by a colon and lack of space which makes them foregrounded. Actions are foregrounded in different ways. In line 15 (run run) I noticed that there is repetition of words. In lines 16, 17 and 18 (with me now/jump shout(laugh dance cry sing)for) the verbs occur in unpunctuated list.
Tense Most of the verbs are in present tense. The simple present tense are barks (line 2), is (line 9) and arrives (line 24). There are present progressive verbs such as are eagerly/tumbling (lines 6, 7 and 8) and o-p-e-n-i-n-g/are (lines 12 and 13). There are also progressive present participles (tumbling and opening) indicates the ongoing nature of action. There are also four adverbs of manner which convey sense of speed (quickly), excitement (crazily, eagerly) and inevitability (irrevocably). Sound Patterns I found the repetition of particular sound which is in the phonological order.
There is a degree of phonological parallelism in each stanza except the last two stanza. There are 3 repetitions of vowel sounds. how crazily houses (line 3) eyes people smiles (line 4) steeples are eagerly (line 6) …wonderful sunlight (lines 8 and 9) , come quickly come (line 14) sing) for it’s Spring (line 19) Conclusion The effect of foregrounding is to make it unusually easy for us to understand the poem. Actually after doing the stylistic analysis of the poem, I never thought that the real meaning of the poem is very superficial because on my interpretation is something that is not explicitly shown.
And knowing E. E. Cummings’ of poems most of them or maybe a lot of them entails deeper meaning which you as a reader should really think of the possible interpretation of the poem. And ‘Spring’ is an exception to that. Now that I have analyzed the poem stylistically, I am in the position to give the meaning of the poem. ‘Spring’ is an active and dynamic poem since most of the words express movements and it involves senses. The poem is to be address to a lover that nobody can stop the love that he feels for the love if his life.
It is also to acknowledge the inevitability of the natural world. With All The Policemen In The World expresses that nothing or nobody is able to stop the progression of Spring or the poet’s love to his addressee. Reflection Essay “Am I able to do it? ” that is the question that really tickled my mind and bothered me a lot. Stylistic analysis is a new endeavor for me. It is very far different from doing a literary analysis and critizing a literary piece which I am comfortable and confident in doing. When I am doing the analysis itself, I can say that the feeling is really vague.
It is like I am on something and I do not know where and what to do. I do not know how to start. But as I am on the process of doing the stylistic analysis, I felt a part of me feeling fulfillment. The most important thing that I have learned in doing the stylistic analysis is discipline as how foregrounding is the corner stone of stylistics. Because I believe that discipline is the corner stone for you to achieve something that you want. Discipline comes from the heart. I know that this is the reason behind why I was able to do my stylistic analysis.
I have the heart and the passion in doing this. Patience is also a virtue that I have developed. Because doing a stylistic analysis is a long process. It does not stop on finding and noticing the foregrounded parts of the poem. You have to prove and say your piece of why and how that part of the poem is foregrounded. You have to go back to the lines on the poem many times. You have also to devote your time in analyzing the poem because you are basing your works on facts and not by merely looking the words on the poem. At first, I admit that I will be having a hard time doing it.
But as I go through the process and making the first move, I found myself having fun and enjoying what am I doing. Doing a stylistic analysis is something that we should not be afraid of. In fact, it is an easy thing to do as long as you are guided with the correct steps to follow in doing the analysis. As I did the analysis of the poem, I found myself proud. Proud in the fact that, I finished my analysis with my own blood and sweat. It made me somehow feel that I am a certified sylistician even though it was only my first time to do a stylistic analysis.
Upon finishing my analysis, I have reflected that stylistic analysis is like life. It is like the authors of poems. They write poems using their own perspective and style because that is what they like. Nobody is dictating them to do so. Another thing is that doing a stylistic analysis is a process. In this way, life also follows a certain process. A good example of this is that, when you want to achieve something, start from the basic step before you can go to a more difficult one, life is really a process, you cannot get want you want with just a blink of an eye.
It is something that we should always work for. The stylistic analysis helped me in many ways. Not only on the virtues that I have developed, the discipline but also the academic value it taught me. It made me see the world of literature vividly. I can say that literature is really an interesting work of art. References: http://www. lancs. ac. uk/fass/projects/stylistics/sa1/example. htm http://famouspoetsandpoems. com/poets/e__e__cummings