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Analysis and comments on 1(a... (a leaf falls on loneliness) by e.e. cummings

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Comment 36 of 286, added on May 5th, 2005 at 8:14 PM.

a poem is only alive while it is being read or thought about. As soon as
the reader knows what the poem says or means, he or she moves on to another
experience, leaving the poem it self to flutter to the ground much like the
words in the poem l(a

john gamble from United States
Comment 35 of 286, added on May 1st, 2005 at 7:21 PM.

i love this poem cuz it has no proper anything and it doesnt even make
sense! it rocks!! and it didnt get 18/20 points cuz it is a good poem and
it is cool and stuff like that. and my english teacher can eat it for
breakfast. it may sound like i have a lot of anger here and i do! but
this poem is really awesome!

Kimmy Anonymous from United States
Comment 34 of 286, added on May 1st, 2005 at 2:06 PM.

E.E.Cummings once said that how you read a poem affects what you get from
it, so to some, they'll read the last part as "oneliness" while others will
see it as "loneliness", suggesting the latter is, infact, lonesome.

Greg from United States
Comment 33 of 286, added on April 13th, 2005 at 9:47 PM.

cummings typed his poetry on a typewriter. Manual typewriters and electric
typewriters were designed so that the lowercase letter "l" and the number
"1" were identical. Typing classes instructed students to hit the
lowercase "l" key to type the number one in order to save time.

Take the poem. Type it using a Courier font. cummings was most definitely
making use of the double meaning conveyed by a single character.

met from United States
Comment 32 of 286, added on March 28th, 2005 at 10:25 AM.

This poem is very lovely and I can someone feel the quite sigularity that
is the leaf in the poem.
There is some emphasis on the characters and breaking up of the lines in
the poem.





The l's definitely do look like ones. and "iness" I would guess to mean the
state of being yourself, the word one in "loneliness", "le" of "leaf" I
often think of being french (in which Cummings does indeed use in some
poems) for "the" an article denoting singularity and so on, and the
separated a and f pairs in the "leaf falls". What I can't understand is why
he had the two l's paired together in "falls" if all this holds true?

I guess that I'm looking to deep for something that isn't there.

Samwise Gamgee from Botswana
Comment 31 of 286, added on March 19th, 2005 at 4:10 AM.

I have heard it argued that this particular poem is not art. I disagree

Of course, it is most often read l(a leaf falls)oneliness, or "a leaf falls
inside of / in loneliness."

But that cannot encapsulate the full meaning of the poem. The line breaks
themselves are infinitely important.

"l(a" As has been suggested, that first "l" could be a 1. In that case, it
would be 1(a, kind of like the first quesiton on a test. Perhaps this
suggests a beginning--enhanced by the presence of the open parenthesis...A
suggestion that even in a singular moment of time, all is not static.

ll" Here I'm going to interrupt again. The possibility of the first "l"
being a "1" has been suggested, but what if all of the "l"s were "1"s?
This would be two ones together. Again, even loneliness is not

one" I'm surprised that this has not been mentioned before! There's a real
"one" in the middle of the poem!

"l" Here's the old "l" / "1" thing again.

"iness" iness. I-ness. The state of being I, being one, being alone. A
wholeness that is inherently lonely.

Some general comments: In the moment that a leaf falls, it is completely
alone. It leaves the safety of the tree above and eventually is embraced
by the warm earth--but in the moment in between, it is suspended in the
air, falling eternally. Yet even that utter loneliness does not last

The simplicity of the poem is another thing that attracts me to it. It is
truly the pinnacle of minimalism. Yet, through brilliant mastery, cummings
managest to evoke as strong an image as other poets have with thousands of

I first read this poem about a year and a half ago, and it has influenced
me more than The Odyssey ever did.

But, back to the minimalism, a leaf falling really is a single moment in
time. I kind of like that suggestions of cummings' interpretations are
little more than suggestions. We know he found something about the moment
to be lonely, but anything more than that is left to the reader--either a
great puzzle or a starting point for a wonderful brainstorm.

And to think that I first thought he had fallen asleep on his typewriter
or something of the sort...

Elizabeth from United States
Comment 30 of 286, added on March 13th, 2005 at 4:26 PM.

It is a quiet simple statement of what is and what cannot be changed. Alone
and without...though there is a subtle suggestion that the alone-ness is
not alone because there are others who are experiencing the same...or are
Frank from Singapore touched upon this lightly.
I also like Jordan's idea of "peaceful origin".

Basai from United States
Comment 29 of 286, added on February 22nd, 2005 at 3:04 PM.

Why is ee cummings a poet? This poem digs deep into the poe revealing whats
inside. I like this 10/10.

Donnie from United States
Comment 28 of 286, added on February 17th, 2005 at 10:55 AM.

15 bucks, little man...put that shit, in my hand if that $ doesnt show,
then you'll owe me owe me OH!!!!

Brandon from United States
Comment 27 of 286, added on February 16th, 2005 at 12:06 PM.

did anyone ever think that the poem could be put together a different way,
instead of just the word loneliness, mabey theres other words that could be
put together, you never know?

Boo from United States

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Information about 1(a... (a leaf falls on loneliness)

Poet: e.e. cummings
Poem: 1(a... (a leaf falls on loneliness)
Added: Feb 20 2003
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