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

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Comment 37 of 427, added on November 10th, 2009 at 11:38 PM.

I'm trying to find out the date when this poem was written. There's lots
of verbiage about cummings but no date that I can find, so far! about
what year it was written.

Althea M Brimm from United States
Comment 36 of 427, added on August 26th, 2009 at 11:48 AM.

E.E. Cummings presents buffalo bill a legendary character. The poem is
generally considered as a fantastic but sincere regard to the legend of the
famous American cowboy, William Cody. Whatever the legend may be, the poet
has been impressed by the character and heroic deed of buffalo bill. He
earned this name for killing several buffaloes and feeding his people. He
used to side bright silvery horse along water and shoot several pigeons.
His act of shooting pigeons has been ridiculed. This act has been compared
with the murder of jesus. Thus, the poet makes a satire on so famous
legendary and heroic character describing as a murderer.
Cummings appreciates buffalo bill to be a handsome man. He may have been
appreciated for his heroic qualities. His legendary image as buffalo bill
has been widely portrayed in hundreds of novels. This is also possible that
the soft makes fun of this handsome man because this man of extraordinary
quality, strength, skillful, sharp shooting, after all, was killed by

Jeewan from Nepal
Comment 35 of 427, added on May 13th, 2009 at 12:17 PM.

whoever wrote this poem is the best poet i would have ever heard about!you
are the best poet ever!!!!

Comment 34 of 427, added on April 21st, 2009 at 6:05 PM.

A lot of you love to create social "messages" out of this poem, decrying
the rape of the west by Cody and the like. Personally, I think ee cummings
liked Cody and associates him with his lost youth. This poem is almost
written from the point of view of a teenager, half boy, half man, who has
lost a hero. I think the 'Jesus' at the end is more than a swear word: I
think he's asking God (Mr. Death)if he isn't pleased to have him. It's a
tribute, not condemnation.

alex Flesh from United States
Comment 33 of 427, added on October 8th, 2008 at 11:45 PM.

When I read this poem it seemed to me to be like a letter written by Death
(who has claimed Bills life and delivered him to heaven) to Jesus.This
makes the Jesus in the poem not an exclamation to emphasize how handsom
Bill was but, addressing the person recieving the letter from Mister Death.
This would make the poem about what death had witnessed in bills life and
ending with a question to jesus about how does he like having Bill in

This is just my opinion that i had formed when i first read the poem,
whether it is correct or not i do not know. I just find it interesting that
it seems no one else has interpreted it this way before.

Alexandria from United States
Comment 32 of 427, added on September 25th, 2008 at 3:23 PM.

cummings plays with the idea of a big killer, buffalo bill, meeting Death,
and raises questions about the value of life at the hands of brutal humans,
and/or at the hands of the gods.

lisa kemmerer

lisa kemmerer from United States
Comment 31 of 427, added on March 10th, 2008 at 4:30 PM.

the poem satirizes Buffalo Bill. He's sooo handsome and hand can shoot sooo
fast; the word Jesus is an exclamation as in "Geez" or "Geewhiz!" both of
which are derived from using the word "Jesus" as an exclamation point. Like
everyone else, the blue-eyed handsome blonde shooter must die and face
Mister Death, who is no more impressed with Bill than with anyone else. So,
as others have stated Buffalo Bill is not measured by the superficial
things which society said made him great. What did he do that was
impressive, but look good and shoot fast and accurate? Death is not
impressed. The poem is in sync with Cummings' "Anyone Lived in a Pretty How
Town," wherein, the everday people are impressed with anyone "not at all."
But "anyone" though he is a "nobody," lives into eternity.

jon rice from United States
Comment 30 of 427, added on October 8th, 2007 at 9:10 PM.

I am very taken with the poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins, and I think there
is a striking similarity between his "Felix Randal" and "Buffalo
Bill's"--it would be interesting to see a discussion of comparisons between
these poets and John Donne ["Death be not Proud"], Emily Dickenson
["Because I could not stop for death..."] ["I heard a fly buzz when I
died..."] Death in perhaps all poetry is an exploration or a "mining" of
this Intruding Angel as a Definer of what it is to be human--and the poet
defies the finality of death with the Eternal Word: "I shall not
die--Scripta Manent !"

Andre from United States
Comment 29 of 427, added on September 29th, 2007 at 2:14 PM.

Though I'm no authority, I thought that it merely referred to Buffalo
Bill's Wild West Show, where he would shoot clay pigeons as a trick. A
"blue-eyed boy" is a treasured, or favorite, inferring that Buffalo Bill is
quite the marked prize for death to have claimed. After all, he seemed so
invinceable, but then he just died of kidney failure.

Comment 28 of 427, added on September 2nd, 2007 at 7:17 PM.

I agree with everything that has been written and just like to add a few
thoughts. First, the method of contrast Cummings uses: "...a watersmooth,
silver stallion; onetwothreefourfivepigeonsjustlikethat...Jesus he
was a handsome man -- and then uses the image of Mister Death. All those
beautiful expressions are empty, and not just empty, evil, because of what
they mean. Whether he was handsome or a great shot or rode a unique horse
mean nothing compared to the idea -- and ideal -- of a man, or America --
that beneath the surface we are actually and historically murderous, and
the image of the blue eyed boy is the image of country which is the exact
opposite of its own view of itself. Buffalo Bill was actually the creation
of a dime novelist, Ned Buntline who devised the character that William
Cody (Buffalo Bill's real name) became. He was not a great shot or even a
man of the west but a superb performer. More of this can be found in
Robert Altman's great movie Buffalo Bill and the Indians or Sitting Bull's
History lesson. Altman does take some license but within the context of
the poem, The reality of Buffalo Bill -- and America -- is different than
the reality.

Michael 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: 159 times
Poem of the Day: Feb 19 2013

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