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

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Comment 18 of 728, added on January 26th, 2005 at 1:20 AM.

I thought it was interesting that the boys were the first to reach
adulthood because in that time the men had to work at a young age to
provide for the family. Then the girls came dancing, much more elegant
than jumping rope as they were looking to get married. It's also
interesting to note that the original title for this poem was "Chansons
Innocentes". Like William Blakes, "Songs of Innocence". I also like how
the adjective in front of the balloonman change as the children grow older.
At first he is "lame" and they don't pay attention because they are busy
playing. Once they reach adolescence he is "queer" and "old" just like all
teenagers have the attitude that adults are old and dont know what they are
talking about. Then once he becomes the balloonMan he no longer has an
adjective but is merely another Man. Maybe treated as an associate or just
something that the children have accepted as a fact of life.

Charnae from United States
Comment 17 of 728, added on January 2nd, 2005 at 6:00 PM.

the majority of these readings are peurile at best. beyond that
instantaneously observable point, the first fellow to malign queer with
happy (and not gay with happy--does anyone know what etymology is?) should
purchase a dictionary; the remainder of you who not only allowed this
egregious error in diction to go unchecked but reiterated his faulty
sentiments should be shot. queer would mean unusual, or deviating from
expectation--not gay, and certainly not happy. As to the readings put
forth, well, i've seen worse, but not much worse.

brad from Canada
Comment 16 of 728, added on December 21st, 2004 at 9:37 AM.

I learned this poem in college. I've always thought that cummings is
pointing out that the magic of childhood is a consistent thing that does
not change. That the balloon man in the park is really a modern Pan, a
sign that spring has arrived and the world is once again puddle wonderful.

Dave from United States
Comment 15 of 728, added on December 7th, 2004 at 9:39 PM.

Although his poems may have a literal meaning as Michael said, the magic of
his works comes from our own opinions. NOT FACT!

Jacob from United States
Comment 14 of 728, added on December 5th, 2004 at 10:28 PM.

The goat-footed baloonman is Pan-the greek diety who welcomed spring by
playing his pipes for the woodland creatures-just as the baloonman ushers
in the season of re-birth and renewal with the children. Nothing dark,
sinister or perverse here- it is a lighthearted view of an urban scene
played against an ancient sylvan setting for effect.

Michael from United States
Comment 13 of 728, added on December 1st, 2004 at 6:32 PM.

I really don't believe that this poem is about Satan, and I don't see it as
that evil, either. I can see how some would see the image of a grown man
with "goat feet" among children and associate it with a pedophile, but I
don't think that's what was intended.
The image of a queer (*happy*) old man with baloons does not seem as
threatening to me as others seem to have found it - he seems to be a
friendly grandfather-figure in the first 2/3 of the poem.
When I read the last 3rd of the poem, I see the baloonman as a satyr or a
kind of pied-piper. He is a mythic figure drawing children out of
innocence and into adulthood, but as sad as it is to see the children grow
up and distance themselves from their purity (the "far and wee" phrase has
more space between words each time), growing up doesn't have to be "evil."
Just because you lose innocence does not mean you descend into hell - even
though adults are more exposed to sin does not make them evil. I thought
this poem shows the beginning of the transition into maturity wistfully.

sam
Comment 12 of 728, added on December 1st, 2004 at 2:04 AM.

in Just-
spring when the world is mud-
luscious the little
lame baloonman


whistles far and wee


and eddyandbill come
running from marbles and
piracies and it's
spring


when the world is puddle-wonderful


the queer
old baloonman whistles
far and wee
and bettyandisbel come dancing


from hop-scotch and jump-rope and


it's
spring
and
the
goat-footed

baloonMan whistles
far
and
wee

---------------------
when the world is mud-
-its separated for a reason mud is like when the world sucks or life sucks
thats that line
the little lame baloonman
-little means ignorant
-lame means like corrupt
baloonman is significant to desires
-like things you
-want like when you are a little kid you want a ballon
-you want it you need it
whistles far and wee
-he gets everyones attention
-and notice the spacing that shows the time over time he gets everyone to
change
eddyandbill come running from marbles and piracies and its spring...spring
is always at the margin in the peom its the beginning like birth or new
life like someone explained up there...
and the games all inocent fun
when the world is puddle-wonderful
puddles are usually fun like when your young you splash in puddles..and
they are like filled with so much life and the all the microcosms in it and
there is something to explore and so much so when the world has something
to explore and is fun.
the queer old baloonman whistles
far and wee...notice he breaks so many rules in grammar thats
what this poem is about breaking the rules set up for you as a kid and
having to grow up to break out of the rules but this poem shows thats not
always good.
and bettyandisbel come dancing
come dancing dancing you are close to another its sexual it shows how they
too break out of they're inocense as the boys did and went running to
desires (the baloonman and his baloons)
game you play when you are young from -hop-scotch and jump-rope and -the
inocese being showed
it's
spring
and
the
goat-footed
as it is originally showed its a hill going down to the devil or pan going
down to hell falling from inocense to sin
spring again coming out to the margin being showed for the third time these
are like the three stages in life
young mature and old or also three seasons summer spring (the beginning)
and fall no winter that represents death he doesnt show the stage of death
goat-footed
again the devil or pan being what brings and breaks down inocense with
desire like they do in life they have so many rules and things that you
should have or you should be and it forces you to conform and change and do
anything to be the prettiest girl or the most popular guy and that takes
away your inocese once your making sins to get your status and rank in this
society
baloonMan whistles
far
and
wee
baloonMan Man capitalized can show change from the first time to the last
and final or can show the horns never thought of that...
far
and
wee
^this being the going down to hell after that change because you have no
inocense but sin and are now condemed...
the title can it could be for "unjust" or also connect spring to just with
the dash after just so its JUST-in spring just in the beggining when you
reseve life are you really and truely free and happy and inocent.

erik from United States
Comment 11 of 728, added on November 18th, 2004 at 12:14 PM.

I agree witih "Mistero," people who see the balloonMan as sexual predator
are bringing their own baggage to the poem. The poem celebrates, I think,
leaving childish play behind. Celebrates the transition into the next
stage of life and its sexual awakening. The children, after all, come
running quite happily. The association with spring -- traditionally "THE"
season to fall in love (haven't you ever seen Bambi?) makes the point
clear. Some American holy-rollers might consider sexual awakening evil,
but I do not think e.e. cummings agrees.

Ed from United States
Comment 10 of 728, added on November 13th, 2004 at 9:47 PM.

It is possible that this poem is not creepy, but in a way showing how the
maturity of children happens. It is only the parents that are fearful of
their child be led astray by some Pied Piper or Mythological god, Pan. But
how I see it, is that Pan, being a god of fertility, and as E. E. Cummings
quite often wrote about sex, that this poem is the coming of age where in
children are no longer playing their games, but rather are swept away into
adult hood. It could be said that the beginning of the poem "in
Just-spring" maybe alluding to the beginning of a child's life (as in the
spring of their exsistence), but if looked at how short our child hood is,
the "in Just-spring" can be viewed as the spring of life, and that then
falls into the loss of innocence.

Megan Hope from United States
Comment 9 of 728, added on October 28th, 2004 at 10:31 AM.

First off, remember that this poem was published in 1923. The word queer
does not mean gay but happy. Anyways, I'm not an expert on poems, but I
think the poem relays a simple idea; growin up from the point of a view of
one who has. To me understanding the poem was easiest and what I think
cummings wants his reader to do is look at it from our perpective, an
adult. 1st group of word, a person looking back when he is struggling in
life or having difficulties. We all been there when we wish we were young
again, life was simpiliar back then. 2nd group, like our memory of the
past, especially our childhood, the memory or short and vague. Therefore
cummings groups the word so closely together. Last the as we realize that
its only a memory, we are an adult now (balloonMan); time of innocence and
youth are "far and wee".

Hoang Nguyen from United States

This poem has been commented on more than 10 times. Click below to see the other comments.
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Information about in Just-

Poet: e.e. cummings
Poem: in Just-
Added: Jan 31 2004
Viewed: 3538 times
Poem of the Day: Aug 31 2000


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