Tuesday, January 20, 2009

External Structure 1:[I(a]

-EE Cummings

            I personally liked this poem due to its very odd structure. This poem truly does exemplify external structure and the importance it plays in a work’s overall meaning. The structure is a vertical poem, one in which all of the words are shown in a line going straight down, rather than the conventional straight across method. The poem spells out the phrase “l(a leaffa ll s)onel iness” which is essentially saying “l(a leaf falls)oneliness”. This phrase is using the phrase “a leaf falls” and placing it within the word “loneliness”. The parenthetical is cleverly placed so that numerous ideas relating to the theme of loneliness are displayed.

        First the “l” at the beginning looks much like the number 1, which is commonly and logically known as the loneliest number that there ever was. The poem continues through the parenthetical, not placing more than two letters in any one given line and placing the spaces irrationally. This serves to relate the loneliness of each line to an overall idea of disorder and chaos. This idea is contrary to the general beliefs that loneliness means a desolate and dejected solitude. After the parenthesis the poem finishes the word loneliness with the words one, l, and iness showing that loneliness is singularity and one-ness.

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