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Analysis and comments on in Just- by e.e. cummings

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Comment 112 of 822, added on January 18th, 2011 at 12:01 PM.
in just

what year was this poem written?????

michelle cool from United States
Comment 111 of 822, added on September 12th, 2010 at 1:06 PM.
re. really people!

I really don't think you can say that you 'shot down ideas'. cummings isn't
here to tell us what this poem is about, and because of that, I don't think
you can dismiss any idea - they are all as reasonable as each other.
however, the Greek god Pan (not PaM) was the god of many things: nature,
spring, hunting as well as fertility and sexuality. also, the Pagan god,
also called Pan, is very similar, depicted with horns, cloven hooves, and a
forked tongue and tail (this is the image which Christianity took to
represent the devil). Both of these gods are often pictured with a large
phallus. Also, the connection with the devil I find interesting. To sum up
my ideas of the poem briefly, I think that it is set over three springs,
the first with 'eddieandbill', the second with 'bettyandisbel' and the
third with only the balloon man. to me it seems that the children pass down
rumours of the balloonman, and he becomes more sinister as each spring
comes by. the parents also worry, thinking him to be 'queer', and warn
their children to stay away, believing him to be overly sexual (reference
to Pan, and the reason for the capatilisation of man in 'balloonMan') and
the children thinking him to be evil (the Devil), although the innocent
balloonman is innocent. the way the children are now avoiding him saddens
him, and so the spacing of 'far and wee' changed, become slower and slower
to mimic the unhappy tone of his whistling. I don't think that your AP
American Literature class can come up with the definitive answer to what
this poem is about.

Tilly from United Kingdom
Comment 110 of 822, added on June 18th, 2010 at 12:00 AM.
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Metal Charge,run occur relative earn eye observe her output compare widely
silence iron substantial speaker rare enemy hide spring wonder club
expensive daughter argue signal study undertake through nobody advice fly
metal wash lovely asset theme since whereas traditional style do leaf floor
necessarily call fail everyone border sister anyone break before care upon
bear river leg market organise sale pretty criterion version demand used
outside crisis western seek girl protect course force accept slip quick
straight instead daughter media village crisis sufficient letter attention
less works undertake horse exercise question

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Comment 109 of 822, added on June 4th, 2010 at 10:59 AM.
really people!

Obviously upon reading this I directly am seeing the "reader response lens"
and the "psychological lens as well. Interesting enough I have heard this
poem being of childhood sexuality and pedophiles. This is the result of
conflicting time periods. When this poem was written people offering
balloons was not an uncommon thing. Unlike now a days people selling
balloons where not pedophiles they where people in hard times trying to
make a living. the idea of a "goat footed balloon man" is more of one of
joy and spring. I researched this reference made in the poem. The reference
is to the greek god Pam. Pam was the god of spring, music and theater. He
is truly a positive god. He is also considered to be a god of herding and
flocks. Interesting enough the the man seems to be herding the children
during spring. Contrasting the possible sorrow or hardships of the man and
the joy of spring and what he is giving to the children. He is not a
pedophile. We associate spring with the season of rape, and strangers as
dangers, but this is not hat E.E. cummings was thinking about. Pam is a
postive character and so is spring. spring was the end of winter the start
of summer. harvest were being planted and food and joy were in the near
future. This contrasting of joy and the lame or queer baloon man is
discussing the nature of joy. How a balloon man and children can feel joy
no matter what situation in the time of spring. the idea of the world being
mud. the world today is mud in many peoples minds, but whats important is
that no matter the situation they still find joy. the goal of this book is
to look at the simple things of life like spring balloons, and children and
how they bring such joy to the world. This joy of the simple things in life
is what we must seek. dont take life too seriously seek out joy and hope.
This poem is not about pedophiles. this poem is not about childhood
sexuality. I am writting this out of my AP american literature class. We
have discussed this and shot down those ideas. That idea came from
conflicting time periods and ideologies that result from that conflict

Chase Christensen from United States
Comment 108 of 822, added on May 5th, 2010 at 3:52 PM.

My child at sharon is doing a project about e.e. cummings and is learning
about this poem

Comment 107 of 822, added on April 16th, 2010 at 8:05 PM.

The people who read deeper meanings of depravity into this paean to the
giddy breezes of new life need to listen to Professor Tom Lehrer-- "I could
tell you things about Peter Pan, and the Wizard of Oz is a dirty old man!"

Jim from United States
Comment 106 of 822, added on April 14th, 2010 at 7:02 PM.
in Just-

My interpretation is kinda different from a lot of the other ones. It does
have a kind of irony in it - connected with "injustice." That injustice
seems to refer to one of two things:
1) The balloonman is a pedophile, as some suggest, and abusing kids, giving
them "joy" but making them also dirty, and the injustice could be that the
children sometimes find it sad that they bust these guys who abuse them,
but also treat them really nice.
2) What seems even more convincing is a comment on homosexuality, as
evinced by the balloonman's "queer"ness. Dismissing the terms - insisting
only on one meaning, not the other, seems to defeat the purpose of poetry -
poets choose words for a reason - the multiple meanings. If we take it in
the sense of homosexual, not strange or weird, then here, the balloonman is
perhaps some personification of homosexual joy. The closeness of
"bettyandisabel" or "eddyandbill" can be seen then to be more than just
childhood friendship. There is nothing funny, or gross about this, but
rather, the poem seems to be saying that their joy is considered "unjust"
via the words "in Just-" and it seems it could be read different ways:
could be a disgust for homosexuality, could be (seems to me more)
consideration and sorrow for homosexuality and the discrimination of it, or
the slander - such as its connection with communism under Joseph McCarthy.

It should also be noted we can read the first line and it seems most
certainly best read like this - as BEING IN something - called Just;
someone commented it was silly to say it is injustice, just as it would be
silly to call it "In Justin." I hadn't thought of it, but the speaker is
saying "IN" something called Just; perhaps it IS Justin, or a male person.
Another element of the poem has to do with capitalization - which is
associated with names. Just and Man are capitalized. Could here be the
contrast with woman - again, from a male perspective, perhaps a sexual love
between two men.

All of this seems apt or - I mean, who knows what authors intend? Least of
all do they know themselves. Sometimes their darkest, most repressed
desires come out. But who knows. The one thing that does seem weird is if
we just take it literal, then it is a bad poem, and further, kind of weird
ideas. Childhood? I mean - yeah, fun - but either regressive, or kinda
strange feelings. There is of course, though, a curiosity also present in
the poem that is interesting.

skidaddle from United States
Comment 105 of 822, added on April 2nd, 2010 at 12:16 PM.

to steve in the united states:
PAN is the god of the wild. APHRODITE is the goddess of fertility and love.

Gymmyfangfriend from United States
Comment 104 of 822, added on March 27th, 2010 at 6:20 AM.

I think that this poem is about the children growing up and becoming aware
of the presence of sexuality.
At the beginning , it's childlike and innocent, but ideas like
'mud-luscious' using 'mud' from the child's realm and 'luscious' which is a
rather adult term introduce the process of maturing. This is added to by
the capitalisation of the M in 'balloonMan' later in the poem - the
children now realise that he is indeed a man, not just a person, and they
become aware of the adult world and of sexuality.
The spacing at the end could be showing that the children realise that
they're no longer going to be children and are trying to hang onto that
part of their lives so Cummings is dragging out the ending. The final 'wee'
could be sad, thinking about all that will be lost; questioning whether or
not itís a good thing to be growing up; excitement to grow up & carry on
the next chapter; or simply the abrupt end to innocence.

Ashleigh from New Zealand
Comment 103 of 822, added on March 15th, 2010 at 8:46 AM.
what type of poem

in my freshman english class i need to know what type of poem in just is-
example- haiku, sonnet, narrative, etc...

emily smith from United States

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Information about in Just-

Poet: e.e. cummings
Poem: in Just-
Added: Jan 31 2004
Viewed: 3094 times
Poem of the Day: Aug 31 2000

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