Poets | Poem of the Day | Top 40 | Search | Comments | Privacy
March 1st, 2017 - we have 234 poets, 8,025 poems and 321,221 comments.
Analysis and comments on l(a by e.e. cummings

1 2 [3] 4

Comment 16 of 36, added on March 9th, 2007 at 1:24 PM.

We had to read this poem in class by E.E. Cummings. The class then
evaluated it. My class has to do a thesis paper on a famous poet, we have
to prove why they did what they did, amoung other things... I enjoy his
"off the wall" writting. I have some grest information on him.

Jane from Canada
Comment 15 of 36, added on April 23rd, 2006 at 1:55 PM.

The poem by E.E. Cummings is a "visual poem". Our teacher told us that if
you look at the hole poem and you regarde only the letters in total you can
see that the structure of the letters is like a the movement of a leaf
falling down of a tree. It is hardly to explain, but there is a bit of
truth in it...

Daniele from Germany
Comment 14 of 36, added on April 15th, 2006 at 7:11 PM.

I think that this poem is about being the first one to break away from
everything else (feeling how lonley it is to be the first leaf falling from
the tree)

carlie zervan from United States
Comment 13 of 36, added on March 15th, 2006 at 2:20 PM.

I'm going to have to go with the assumption that E.E. Cummings was a
homosexual....and at the time of writing this poem, he may have been going
through a dry spell (a.k.a. no cummings). No pun intended.

Comment 12 of 36, added on February 8th, 2006 at 8:51 PM.

i believe that this poem is about a leaf falling. the words in parenthases
read " a leaf falls" the letters on the outside read "loneliness" i believe
the shape is just there to form a "falling" pattern to express the thoughts
of this poem.

steph from United States
Comment 11 of 36, added on December 26th, 2005 at 8:24 PM.

This guy writes the most illegible drivel I've ever read. Seriously, how in
the hell is he considered a poet? 5 year olds put this guy to shame as far
as sentence structure is concerned. God forbid he write sentences like
everone else. I guess stroke patients can't be expected to function
normally. And don't respond to this comment and tell me he was a great poet
and I can't comprehend the beauty of his poetry.

Morgan from United States
Comment 10 of 36, added on December 2nd, 2005 at 10:42 AM.

I really enjoy Boldizsár's comment below. I believe what he wrote follows
my thoughts. thanks. i love jon angot

Swane Dawg from Zimbabwe
Comment 9 of 36, added on October 22nd, 2005 at 9:57 AM.

This is a concrete poem--one in which the shape of the words on the page
must be considered. The poem is shaped like the numeral one. Obviously
the digit 1, the word one and the concept of "iness"--state of being first
person singular--are involved. The opening parenthesis is a leaf, which
turns (as represented by the closing parenthesis) as the leaf falls with
the downward movement of the skinny poem. The opening line l(a is the
French feminine singular definite article (with a leaf wedged in it); "le"
is the masculine singular definite article.To get superingenious: "af" and
"fa" are like that turning falling leaf and reinforce the idea of
singularity since "fa" is a single noted of Guido's scale. "11" looks like
eleven and seems to blow apart the idea of singularity--until one thinks of
the etymology or "eleven": one that is left over in our normal decimal
grouping of ten. What could be moore lonely? That "s" is the same leaf as
the earlier ( and the ), but it somehow got bent in its descent.

kerry from United States
Comment 8 of 36, added on September 27th, 2005 at 6:31 AM.

Though there seems to be a lot of controversy about the first character, I
believe that it is an "l" (which to be meant as a lower case L). The
characters outside of the parenthesis would then sum to "loneliness" which
is represented by a leaf falling, apart from others, into the state of
being a single entity; alone. The fact that the "l" does also resemble a
"1" (that is, a single unit numeral), it could be interpreted as one's

Ashley Dean from Canada
Comment 7 of 36, added on August 21st, 2005 at 11:04 AM.

Though I know this will cruelly dispel some fancy illusions I must insist
that - given the usual orthography of cummings's poetry - the first letter
is completely clear; it cannot be but an "l" (that is, a lowercase "L").
cummings never writes the personal pronoun "I" in capital letter, though
that would obviously be the orthodox spelling.

The first character's "l"-ness :) is also confirmed internally by the text
itself: the letters outside the parentheses add up to "loneliness".
Paradoxically, though, the interpretations you have been mentioned above
(below? - esp. yan's and Jane's) are still valid but not because the
alleged ambiguity of the first character - which is, woe betide! not
ambiguous at all - but because of the separation of "loneliness" into
disparate units such as "one", "i" or "iness" (interpretable as I-ness,

To me, the conciseness and melancholy beauty of this poem (behind which I
still cannot help but feel cummings's tongue-in-cheek half-smile) evoke the
innermost paradoxes of Far-Eastern haikus.

Boldizsár from Hungary

This poem has been commented on more than 10 times. Click below to see the other comments.
1 2 [3] 4
Share |

Information about l(a

Poet: e.e. cummings
Poem: l(a
Added: Jan 31 2004
Viewed: 2764 times

Add Comment

Do you have any comments, criticism, paraphrasis or analysis of this poem that you feel would assist other visitors in understanding this poem better? If they are accepted, they will be added to this page of American Poems. Together we can build a wealth of information, but it will take some discipline and determination.

Do not post questions, pleas for homework help or anything of the sort, as these types of comments will be removed. The proper place for questions is the poetry forum.

Please note that after you post a comment, it can take up to an hour before it is visible on the website! Rest assured that your comment is not lost, so don't enter your comment again.

Comment on: l(a
By: e.e. cummings

Name: (required)
E-mail Address: (required)
Show E-mail Address:
Yes No
Poem Comments:

Poem Info

cummings Info
Copyright © 2000-2015 Gunnar Bengtsson. All Rights Reserved. Links