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Comment 4 of 84, added on November 4th, 2004 at 10:01 PM.
As you may know, Olaf was based on a real person (a conscientious objector)
that Cummings met while at Fort Devens. According to the Kennedy
biography: the soldier immortalized as Olf was taken to Ft. Leavenworth. A
senior officer told Cummings: "You men ought to take a look at what they do
to a man at military prisons... the first thing they do is give him a g.d.
fine beating. They black his eyes for him. They do it on principle down
from United States
Comment 3 of 84, added on October 30th, 2004 at 12:56 PM.
I love this poem because it describes so perfectly what a friend of mine
encountered in a "fraternal organization" - he is a black Jehovah's Witness
who is religiously forbidden to salute the flag, a fact which the
organization neglected to address when he was initiated. It boggles my mind
that Cummings wrote this so long ago; the hatred and hysteria our friend
experienced over his religious beliefs by this US "fraternal" organization,
which revealed itself to be hardly better than some Nazi organizations, is
so well detailed in this poem.
from United Kingdom
Comment 2 of 84, added on September 9th, 2004 at 8:42 PM.
First off, the above comment is worthless. All poetry is meant to read to
the senses to a certain extent, but without analysis, the details of the
poem are lost. cummings deliberately writes his poetry in a confusing and
broken manner, but that is simply gain the attention of the the readers of
his time, who he considered to have become numb to the written word. By
making his writing confusing, cummings both affects the reader on an
emotional level initially, but then intrigues the reader on an intellectual
level. There are consistent themes throughout the poem and a consistant
story, so it makes sense to break it down for analysis.
Comment 1 of 84, added on August 26th, 2004 at 2:52 PM.
Don't, whatever you do, analyze this poem. Most poetry, like this,
transits directly from the page (or the reading) directly to the emotions.
Analysis of this poem is like a post mortem of a deceased. When you are
finished, you are left with a mess of detached parts; the original body no
Leave it alone.
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