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Analysis and comments on i sing of Olaf glad and big by e.e. cummings

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Comment 23 of 323, added on July 22nd, 2010 at 11:22 PM.
I sing of Olaf

"There is some shit I will not eat"....came to me in a conversation and I
did not recall where I had first heard it...(or, more accurately, read
it).
A google inquiry quickly found the source of this powerful expression of
intent and I again basked in the profound work of ee cummings....
I have my own notion of the meaning of "more blond" but more important is
Cumming's tribute to the willful commitment to a belief or prinicple
whatever the price, that the beautiful Olaf lived out for all of us
who struggle to be sure that our life has an ultimate meaning and purpose.

Richard Levy from United States
Comment 22 of 323, added on February 18th, 2010 at 12:00 AM.
hotel türkei

Area Place,stage consider transport plan contribute television beyond grow
computer bar road must it adult step door danger inside colleague
opportunity pay stock religious thanks morning hell friend suffer claim
south relatively theme manager assume hour all city seriously benefit
separate passage village case so process either recognize female let touch
author visit social bind half name argue according exercise language
internal grant town hand bus everybody desk image will watch himself ground
after plenty crisis expert tea something horse concerned local reply report
shall programme average

hotel türkei
Comment 21 of 323, added on February 16th, 2010 at 12:09 PM.
i sing of olaf glad and big

I disagree. I don't think that analysis precludes appreciation of the poem
itself; it can add to the fullness of appreciation of any poem, athis one
in particular. One aspect that I haven't seen mentioned in any of these
comments is the extremely unusual form this poem takes -- strictly adhering
to rhyme scheme and meter, unlike any other cummings poem I've ever read.
That, in combination with the phrasing of the opening line ("I sing of
Olaf...") strongly evokes Norse mythological songs of praise and adds an
additional and stirring emotional dimension to the poem's story, linking
present-day Olaf with the great heroes of our shared cultural past.

susan spangler from United States
Comment 20 of 323, added on February 20th, 2009 at 7:44 AM.

I'm a blondish Norwegian-American, and my grandfather's name was Olaf. I
never read the "blond" line as meaning anything more than a light-hearted,
witty reference to his Scandinavian heritage, and nothing more need be read
into it, IMHO.

Michael from United States
Comment 19 of 323, added on April 20th, 2007 at 2:49 AM.

For cummings, I agree. It is not true for every poem, though. I mean, it's
always all there on the page, but there is often a puzzle to figure out
which procures a deeper meaning which requires analysis, unless you can
immediately pick up on all allusions and their interaction upon the first
reading, thus allowing them all to affect you emotionally the FIRST time.
This is very difficult for a lot of poetry. Such is true of a lot of Yeats,
and a lot of the romantics.

Brendan from United States
Comment 18 of 323, added on April 6th, 2006 at 7:41 PM.

To return the discussion to the serious--the Blonde in the last line does
not imply courage---the Brave reference does that. In graduate school we
discussed this poem at length and had one of the foremost cummings scholars
in the country come in to have a seminar with us on his poetry. The Blonde
is more of an implication of 1st generation immigration---Olaf here chasing
the American dream in his adopted country, yet meeting the disaster
described in the poem. Olaf being more directly pure--aligned to Aryan
type roots than probably the same people who were torturing him, but whose
blue eyes were handed down through several generations of mixing, and
diluting the purity of their roots. I have never forgotten the seminar to
this day, or those comments aobut the last line of Olaf. I wrote my thesis
on cummings and spent 10 pages in this poem alone---one of his most vivid
and powerful.

Now And Then Books from United States
Comment 17 of 323, added on March 15th, 2006 at 11:03 AM.

melissa, your comments just perpetuate the stereotype that all scandinavian
men are hung like horses and I thank you.

Jan Prøbst
President
Swedish Endowment for World Piece

Jan from Sweden
Comment 16 of 323, added on February 19th, 2006 at 3:03 PM.

I cant beilve nobdy has commented about olafs large penis. its massive, and
he likes to pleasure himself when he is at war.

melissa cristofaro from United Kingdom
Comment 15 of 323, added on November 26th, 2005 at 11:55 PM.

"bowdlerized" refers to a guy, Bowdler, who edited all the nuaghty bits out
of Shakespeare in the earlier 19th century.

Also, the beauty of poetry and literature in general is that it has
universal application. Regardless of whether or not cummings wrote this
poem specifiacally about Nazism (specifiaclly it is about a person he knew,
but it was written in the years leading up to the outbreak of WWII [37 i
think]) it is still completely applicable to a consideration of that
movement.

Sandy from Canada
Comment 14 of 323, added on November 11th, 2005 at 8:24 AM.

While "all kind of officers" are encouraging the firstclassprivates to do
that, I always took it as literal; not an analogy for sexual assault, but
torture through the application of red-hot knives. You *could* make an
argument for sexual connotations there--after all, he's also on his knes,
or "what were once knees", but I'd expect cummings to use a more...
forward? ...word than "tease", if that were the case.

Frances from Canada

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Information about i sing of Olaf glad and big

Poet: e.e. cummings
Poem: i sing of Olaf glad and big
Added: Jan 31 2004
Viewed: 5431 times
Poem of the Day: Jul 15 2002


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