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Analysis and comments on Buffalo Bill's by e.e. cummings

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Comment 24 of 204, added on March 23rd, 2006 at 12:41 PM.

'The glories of our blood and state / Are shadows not substantial things /
There is no armour aginst fate / DEATH lays his icy hands on
kings...Sceptre and crown must tumble down / And in the dust be equal made
/ With the poor crooked scythe and spade."
The expression 'Jesus' is not ouside this.
"The lone and level sands stretch far away..." Shelley.

"Great Caesar is now dead clay to stop a hole to keep the wind away..."
Shakespeare.

The man that helped the railroad rip through the heart of the American
Prarie leaving thousands of bison rotting is 'dreaming' sod.
Like Superman, Spiderman, Heman, Batman and other one man shows that the
world likes to applaud when their short term perspectives are satisfied,
William Fredrick Cody too has called it a day. The Wild West Show is now
'defunct'.

The prurient fingers of philosophy, science and religion have pinched and
poked and buffetted nature thinking it might conceive gods...All they could
do was ravish the land of Pocohontas and destroy the very essence of the
nature of 'being'.

Cummings leads us out from the real world to the world that the Pied Piper
took the children to...'a thing to dream of, not to tell'..a world where
the dying notes of the whistle of the balloon man suggests so much more
than the rotting carcass of buffalo on the Prarie.


Lakshman from India
Comment 23 of 204, added on March 21st, 2006 at 10:51 AM.

I'm still not getting it. I have read the poem over and over again. I'm
looking for something or someone who could really break this poem down to
me.

HELLO is anyone out there. Please I need help.

At first I thought this poem was about the spirit of BB. And that the
author was writing about BB life in general, but after reading all these
comments I see that on wrong.

Please e-mail if you like.


Jenny from United States
Comment 22 of 204, added on February 28th, 2006 at 10:16 PM.

free writes are confusing!

christina from United States
Comment 21 of 204, added on February 12th, 2006 at 10:58 PM.

I'm crazy but sometimes think the second half, beginning with Jesus is a
separate poem about Jesus, not B.B. Or that somehow Jesus and B.B. are
made equivelent. Both miracle workers in a sense. And if death got them
both, that has implications for the whole basis of Christianity. Rejection
of the after-life leads logically to adoption of a carpe diem attitude
about this one, which would suit cummings.

Andy from United States
Comment 20 of 204, added on January 10th, 2006 at 6:28 PM.

great name and i thout it was about his death,but not.

sam from United States
Comment 19 of 204, added on November 13th, 2005 at 11:58 AM.

im so confused i dont knoe wat it means

mike from United States
Comment 18 of 204, added on September 12th, 2005 at 9:15 PM.

Now when I first read this poem I thought it was about Buffalo Bill's
death, boy was I off! After my mother giving me some major hint's I finally
understood, the poem is one big metaphor for the "death" of the Wild West.
Buffalo Bill as the one intitial figeure that kept the Wild West alive.
And the poem is asking so how do you think of yourself now for killing the
wild west era and causing a turn of the century were life is harder and
more violent, are we better off?

Wow is e.e. cummings good!!!
His poems seem so simple but they are so complex you don't even know it at
a first glance.

Well wish me luck I'm presenting a presentation on this poem tomarro, hope
it goes well.

I hope this analysis will help some of you who are completely confused out
there...don't worry...I think cumming's secretly wanted us all to have a
panic attack from his poems. hehheehehe



Elanor from United States
Comment 17 of 204, added on July 28th, 2005 at 11:07 PM.

Buffalo Bill was a complete jerk. I never took the poem to mean what most
of the others here believe, that it is an ode to some bygone heroism, yuck.
I considered it to be a very sarcastic and biting poem that meant that the
entire era that Buffalo Bill represents, with the American myth of taming
the wild west and phony heroism, was defunct. I never went to any length to
analyze the poem, I like to take poems at face value. Although if I like
one I will read it many times, over many years, and it will mean more as I
age, (I'm 38).I immediately saw Buffalo Bill as the blue eyed boy, and as
Mister Death. Except as the blue eyed boy he represents white America's
lost, supposed, innocence, and he also represents the destruction it
wrought as Mister Death.

Laurie Collier from United States
Comment 16 of 204, added on June 9th, 2005 at 12:12 PM.

I have to do a Poetry Project for my English teacher. (8th grade)I said
this in my commentary on the poem. "The fact that he says that he’s
“defunct” is a purposeful misuse of the word. Defunct means to cease to
work or function. It doesn’t refer to death. Cummings is implying that
Buffalo Bill was a shooting machine who didn’t die; he simply stopped. It’s
as if a machine broke down and was thrown out."


Amanda from United States
Comment 15 of 204, added on May 29th, 2005 at 10:20 PM.

According to my English teacher, Buffalo Bill's defunct is stylistically
supposed to be read out loud on a single breath. When it is read in this
manner, your breath quite literally dies on the word death, and it gives a
whole new meaning to the poem, because it is not only Buffalo Bill dying,
it's yourself, and the American ideal. S.D., I believe that is why the poem
is written so "un-poetically".

Brenda from United States

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Information about Buffalo Bill's

Poet: e.e. cummings
Poem: Buffalo Bill's
Added: Jan 31 2004
Viewed: 38484 times
Poem of the Day: Feb 19 2013


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