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

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Comment 21 of 411, 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 411, 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 411, 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 411, 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 411, 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 411, 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 411, 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
Comment 14 of 411, added on April 25th, 2005 at 7:44 PM.

My english teacher made me read this poem, and i kind of like the way that
ee-cummings uses his words to catch your eye and not only your ear. I
think that He's saying that Buffalo Bill was a great hero, but "mr death"
had to come and take him away. that is all....pole vault

Anne from United States
Comment 13 of 411, added on April 24th, 2005 at 6:21 PM.

This is my analysis from this paper im writing for school. No coppying.
Keep in mind im only in 9th grade.

In the poem “Buffalo Bill’s” cummings explores the death of a hero.
Buffalo Bill was a western legend that was famous for being a cowboy,
inventor, and soldier. What cummings expresses in his poetry is that
Buffalo Bill isn’t just dead. He has become defunct, a word that means
obsolete or extinct. Buffalo Bill represents all heroes, and when cummings
says that he is defunct, he means that there is no more use for heroes
anymore. Of course the reader can’t help but notice cumming’s admiration
for Buffalo Bill. He didn’t just ride a horse; he rode a
“…watersmooth-silver stallion.” The next section “…and break
onetwothreefourfive pigeonsjustlikethat” refers to Buffalo Bill’s trick
shooting clay pigeons with a six-shooter. cummings only had five pigeons
because cowboys who often rode horses would only load five bullets, leaving
one empty chamber in case it went off inside the hip holster. The last two
lines of this poem seem to bring the poem to a chilling ending, “how do you
like your blueeyed boy Mister Death” cummings seems to say that death seems
to have a taste for those who are important or notable, like a “blueeyed
boy.” This seems to be the theme of the poem.


Heidi from United States
Comment 12 of 411, added on April 17th, 2005 at 10:38 PM.

The last line:

"how do you like your blueeyed boy
Mister Death"

I always took this as twisting of the old cliche "How do you like your
steak?" That sort of image. I think people often neglect the sarcasm in
cummings' poetry.

James 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: 39419 times
Poem of the Day: Feb 19 2013

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