E.E. Cummings: The Power of Structure and Form | Owlcation
You breathe; new shapes appear, and the music of I'll meet you there. When the Listen to the poem read by Soleyman Vaseghi: On Being. front cover of Meet the Capital Letters - Available on Amazon by creatively giving “life” to the letters, based on their shapes, and revealing what they do when. A concrete poem is a poem that is written so that the shape of the words on the page matches the even the people I meet are standing in the way of the climb.
But starting at the induction seems appropriate. It was an induction day for me too, the first in my new post as Writing Fellow for this and two other colleges. Before my talk there was lunch, an opportunity to meet the teaching staff, and to introduce myself.
- Meet the Shapes /educational cartoon
- Perspective: The shape of the problem
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As it turned out, the Director of Studies in English and I had already met. She asked me if I had any books in the pipeline and I told her that I would be publishing a new collection of poetry the next year.
It would be called The Autistic Alice. There are Alices within Alices, a mise en abyme of Alices, an infinite regression — Carroll would love that, though it is the kind of perplexity that might make his Alice cry. I love it and I want to cry. I appreciate that the sentence with which I began this footnote is problematic in many ways. Let me lay them out for you — well, for myself and for you.
First of all, is the person who had the experience the same as the person in the present who is writing about it now? I was diagnosed at forty-two: I am concerned that a I am not making myself clear — I can never be sure, what with my difficulties with social communication, that I am making myself clear. Sometimes I think I am conveying the information that I am afraid, in pain, or angry, but my voice and my face let me down.
I know this is writing, but what if my manner of expression here, too, is letting me down? What if it has always let me down and I have never realised? What if the written word is not after all the salvation that I have always hoped it would be?
I have lived all my life in translation. The other thing that concerns me about this possible dangling modifier is that it would constitute an error and I find it hard to forgive myself for making those. I find even the possibility that I will make errors an inhibiting prospect as I prepare to write, speak or otherwise interact.
Do I have the right to speak from this perspective? There are so many potential pitfalls.
My experience my experience — hah! I do not, for example, have any problem with metaphor — in fact, I feel very at home in it see what I did there?
Until fairly recently, ours ours? The concept was developed and defined by clinicians.
When we appeared in discourse, we did so as case studies. Autism has been defined almost exclusively by what is apparent to those who do not have it.
Thus, an autistic person has been one who exhibits certain characteristics: As Steve Silberman has explained in his book NeuroTribes: There is plenty to read, positive, negative, or matter-of-fact, about what it is like to parent a child almost always a child with the condition: Parents who kill their disabled children are treated sympathetically, on the whole.
When I write as a person with autism, I am afraid of how my writing might appear to these parents, and of how they might react: I would hope that our perspectives could be seen as complementary, not as contradictory.
Meet the Capital Letters -
The way he does this adds an extra element. In most poetry the poem has its basic character, theme, and its description of a situation; The way Cummings chops up sentences adds feeling. Even though no words in the poem outright state his feelings of guilt the message still comes through loud and clear because of the way in which it is written.
The speaker is just giving the minimal thought to the situation that he cannot block out. The poem is broken up because his thoughts are broken up and uneven. It shows a frustration and a lack of hope that what he is asking will ever be met. Often times, when one does have to re-ask something time and time again your mind does begins to feel like that poem; completely befuddled and unclear of anything other that just the annoyance in having to ask over and over again.
This poem shows the strangers interest in each other and through the uneven choppiness of the lines in the poem you can see into their minds; you can almost see their thoughts and the formation of their thoughts.
Their thoughts are just like the form of the poem in the way that it is interesting and void of a certain rationality.
However, to the characters of this poem, rationality is not their main objective, feeling is. The line leaves you unsettled and makes you want to race to the next line in hope to learn more or to get some sense of closure.
You once again feel unsettled and need to continue on to find out what he wants.
Meet the Capital Letters
By structuring his poems in this way he is keeping the reader personally interested. By not making the lines into full, complete sentences you can almost see the character of the poem standing, proclaiming his love; choosing his words carefully and really thinking through what he is saying and the entirety of it. The way he structures lines in his poems is almost child-like in the sense that his creativity has not been dismorphed or diluted by social norms.
For every profession there are norms and that includes poetry. Very few topics of his poems are innocent but there is innocence in the ways in which they are written because of his structure. Cummings truly uses this avenue of structure to his advantage by giving the reader so much more than the ordinary. Cummings uses form is by using punctuation and spacing. He does this in a variety of ways that are very imaginative. This also create a new experience fore the reader. The poem is given an opposite meaning without even changing a single word choice.
If you were to fully analyze this poem without all of this added into it by Cummings it would be the absolute antithesis of what he has made it to be: In "you said is" he uses capitalization to make a statement. He only capitalizes the words that he really wants to emphasize and have an impact on the meaning of the poem. It is not an important word to the poem; it therefore need not be emphasized. Spacing is used in an amazing way here. Your mind reads the words and lines of this poem slowly until it gets to the part where the words are crammed together with no spacing.
Before I read this poem I had never thought like this but while I was reading the poem I caught to it immediately. Your mind speeds the words up without even making a conscious decision to do so. The overall length of the poem is another way that Cummings uses form in a unique way.