A Short Analysis of E. E. Cummings’ ‘may I feel said he’

By Dr Oliver Tearle (Loughborough University)

‘may i feel said he’ is one of E. E. Cummings’ most playful poems, detailing the to-and-fro between a man and a woman engaged in a fling (the man’s wife is mentioned, so the female speaker here must be his mistress). It’s one of Cummings’ more straightforward and easily comprehensible poems; nevertheless, some words of analysis may help to tease out the seductive and erotic power of the poem.

You can read ‘may i feel said he’ here.

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A Summary and Analysis of E. E. Cummings’ ‘all in green went my love riding’

By Dr Oliver Tearle (Loughborough University)

Poets have often turned to classical mythology to shine a light on erotic feeling, and the great twentieth-century American poet E. E. Cummings (or perhaps that should be, following the poet’s own self-styling, e. e. cummings) wrote some of the best erotically charged poetry of the twentieth century. So it should come as little surprise that he sometimes drew on mythological stories to suggest sexual desire and erotic appreciation, as in his famous poem ‘all in green went my love riding’.

You can read this poem here before proceeding to our analysis below.

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A Short Analysis of E. E. Cummings’ ‘loneliness (a leaf falls)’

By Dr Oliver Tearle (Loughborough University)

What do we call this short E. E. Cummings masterpiece? ‘l(a’, after its first line? ‘loneliness (a leaf falls)’? But that violates the careful syntax of Cummings’ own poem. ‘a leaf falls on loneliness’? But that separates the two things that need to be kept together. ‘l(a leaf falls)oneliness’ then?

But that loses the spacing and line endings that make E. E. Cummings’ poem so distinctive and meditative, turning its delicate verse structure into a piece of prose, and prose verging on the prosaic.

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A Summary and Analysis of E. E. Cummings’ ‘anyone lived in a pretty how town’

By Dr Oliver Tearle (Loughborough University)

The poem with the opening line ‘anyone lived in a pretty how town’ is one of E. E. Cummings’ (or perhaps that should be, following the poet’s own self-styling, e. e. cummings’) best-known poems. But like much of his poetry, ‘anyone lived in a pretty how town’ presents a number of challenges to comprehension and analysis, so a few words of literary-critical commentary may be useful. You can read Cummings’ poem here.

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