Comment 3 of 333, added on December 15th, 2004 at 12:46 PM.
Larry, I'm looking at your comment and I'm quite intrigued. At first, I
thought that this poem was rather a social commentary on those who have
been brought up without any sort of moral following, but your perception of
the poem is a strong one. Very interesting...
from United States
Comment 2 of 333, added on December 8th, 2004 at 6:35 PM.
To Trey - you mean, wish you would have!
I love e.e. cummings. Poetry can be cool. One of the things that I think
makes e.e. cummings poems great is that one the hand they are instantly
'understandable' when read literally. Then you read them over and over and
wonder, what might he really have been writing about?
the boys i mean are not refined is a perfect example of this. Taken
literally, it reads as some clarification on the kind of boys he is talking
about. Did e.e. cummings enjoy this as a joke, that most people would read
his poetry and take it literally?
Read it again and think about it. e.e. cummings was a volunteer ambulance
driver in the war.
the boys i mean are not refined (well as common soldiers, they probably
weren't well educated)
they go with girls who buck and bite (these soldiers were loading and
they do not give a fuck for luck (night and day in battle and you wouldn't
give a fuck either)
they hump them thirteen times a night (how many times they fired - didn't
care if it was 13, luck be damned - now you really didn't think these boys
could fuck a girl thirteen times did you???)
One hangs a hat upon her tit (on the canon somewhere, like a grease nipple
One carves a cross on her behind (soldiers are known for drawing pictures
or writing graffiti on their weapons)
and on and on. Now isn't it obvious that this poem is really about the
soldier boys that e.e. cummings met. Of course as a poet, he would be
moved to write a tribute to them! That many people would read the poem
literally as about boys fucking girls, well, that is just the magic of e.e.
cummings and I wonder if he got a chuckle out of that.