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Classic and Contemporary Poetry: Explained

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"Who knows if the moon's" is a poem by E.E. Cummings was first published in 1923. The poem is a love poem that explores themes of mystery, imagination, and the power of love. 

Explanation:

The poem is a reflection on the mysteries of love and desire. The speaker muses about the unknown depths of his beloved's emotions, wondering if she truly knows the extent of his feelings for her. The poem is written in a dreamlike, surreal style, with many of the images and phrases carrying deeper meanings. The language is highly metaphorical and symbolic, adding a layer of complexity to the poem.

  • Form:
  • The poem is written in free verse, without a regular meter or rhyme scheme. The lack of formal structure allows Cummings to play with the sound and structure of the poem, using repetition, alliteration, and other poetic techniques to create a sense of rhythm and musicality.
  • Themes:
  • The poem explores themes of love, desire, and the mysteries of the human heart. Cummings' language is highly metaphorical and symbolic, with many of the images and phrases carrying deeper meanings.
  • Imagery:
  • The poem is filled with vivid and imaginative imagery, such as the reference to the beloved's "gesture which tries to enclose a ghost." Cummings uses language that is both playful and mystical, creating a sense of wonder and awe.
  • Tone:
  • The tone of the poem is one of awe and wonder, as the speaker marvels at the mysteries of his beloved's influence over him. The language is highly metaphorical and symbolic, with many of the images and phrases carrying deeper meanings.
  • Sound:
  • The poem makes use of internal rhyme, as well as repetition of certain phrases and sounds. These poetic devices add a musical quality to the poem and emphasize its themes of mystery and imagination.
  • Language:
  • The poem's language is highly metaphorical and symbolic, with many of the images and phrases carrying deeper meanings. Cummings uses playful language and wordplay to create a sense of whimsy and imagination.
  • Figurative Language:
  • The poem makes use of a variety of figurative language devices, such as metaphors, personification, and hyperbole. These devices add depth and complexity to the poem, highlighting the mysteries of love and desire.
  • Structure:
  • The poem's irregular structure reflects the sense of exploration and adventure conveyed by its themes. Cummings uses line breaks and stanzas to create a sense of rhythm and emphasis.
  • Symbolism:
  • The poem makes use of symbolic imagery to convey its themes, such as the reference to the beloved's "gesture which tries to enclose a ghost." These symbols emphasize the mysterious and mystical nature of love and desire.

Conclusion:

"Who knows if the moon's" is a complex and multi-layered poem that explores themes of love, desire, and the mysteries of the human heart. Cummings' use of playful language and imaginative imagery adds depth and complexity to the poem, highlighting the wonders and mysteries of love. The poem's irregular structure and use of symbolic imagery reflect its themes of imagination and exploration.

POEM TEXT:

who knows if the moon's

a balloon,coming out of a keen city

in the sky—filled with pretty people?

(and if you and i should

get into it,if they

should take me and take you into their balloon,

why then

we'd go up higher with all the pretty people

than houses and steeples and clouds:

go sailing

away and away sailing into a keen

city which nobody's ever visited,where

always

it's

Spring)and everyone's

in love and flowers pick themselves


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