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Analysis and comments on my sweet old etcetera... (X) by e.e. cummings

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Comment 10 of 50, added on April 21st, 2007 at 11:31 PM.

the soldier is in the middle of combat dying and etcetra is every time the
soldier starts to pass out from dying hence the subject change

Riley Gallagher from United States
Comment 9 of 50, added on December 26th, 2006 at 4:44 PM.

This is plain, if not simple, satire. And the last Etcetera, referring as
it does to the vagina, is comparing the good that is sex against the evil
that is war. EEC was a man ahead of his time...

Peter from United Kingdom
Comment 8 of 50, added on January 17th, 2006 at 3:29 AM.

My interpretation looking at the sound and the words and the scenario is:
1. Etcetera is the sound of detonations, interrupting his thoughts. The
last one kills him (thats why itīs written in capital letters), while
thinking about his greatest solace.
Very sorrowfull. War does not only cause fear and death, but also
disintegration of the thoughts.

Thomas Sieber from Germany
Comment 7 of 50, added on September 24th, 2005 at 8:20 PM.

does no one else see the blatant humor in the tone of this poem, especially
the last stanza? this isn't a totally serious poem... cummings forces us
(well, maybe not everyone noticed i guess) to mentally replace the last
"Etcetera" with a word of our choosing, and he's talking about body parts -
he's obviously evoking his lover's nakedness as being what the protagonist
looks forward to most.

Eddy from United States
Comment 6 of 50, added on July 12th, 2005 at 11:29 AM.

He's mocking the fervent support of those who aren't going to war for the
war, that they can believe in it so strongly yet they aren't the ones
risking their necks for all this freedom they believe in. His aunt acts as
if she knows exactly why the war is happening and I'm sure she feels she
knows which side is right (and Lord knows if anyone knows what World War I
was really about and who was right anyway). His mother and father want to
see him die bravely in battle and the father says how much he wishes he
could as well, but sadly (and conveniently) he can't make the sacrifice
(but he would if he could!).

But own hero is the one actually on the lines, risking his life, and he
knows what he thinks is most important; his love. He has no illusions about
the fairy tale of war and all he wants is to see his love again.

ConqueringId from United States
Comment 5 of 50, added on June 15th, 2005 at 8:04 AM.

Many readers are surprised when they learn that cummings depended on rhyme
and repetition in many of his works. Although hidden in this poem, the
rhymes: war, for, more (beginning line, internal, and end line are seamed
invisibly into the lines). The repetition of the word: etcetera (following
a lead begun by Whitman)replaces rhyme on lines 1,12(twice),and 14. In line
15 rhyme returns: course(internal)and: hoarse (internal line 16). In line
3: could (internal) and line 14: would (internal) and line 18: could
(beginning line rhyme), cummings uses repetition and rhyme with words that
do not stand out. To distract the reader from his love of rhyme and
highlight his love for repetition he uses ()'s line 8: hundreds line 9: (
and--then line 10: hundreds), he futher breaks lines with the word:et line
20; cetera line 21; line 22: (dreaming,{first use of punctuation}Why?
Setting us up for the punch line? Line 23: et (repetition or rhyme?) line
cetera, of {final use of punctuation and use of the word: of (as repetition
going back to line: 10 and picked up again in line: 26}. First use of
capitalization is: Your (line 25) and last use: Etcetera) {punch line
complete--poet exits the stage strong as the best actors do)...

rthomas from United States
Comment 4 of 50, added on May 8th, 2005 at 5:06 AM.

This is my favourite poem. e.e.cummings' work is amazing but this poem has
always stood out to me

Jess from Australia
Comment 3 of 50, added on November 17th, 2004 at 10:49 PM.

Damn, how awesome is this guy? You just look at his poems and know that you
are in the presence of greatness. Amazing style, substance, and syntax
throughout this entire poem. It just makes you think of words and phrases
in new ways that you would have never have thought of before.

Eric from United States
Comment 2 of 50, added on October 20th, 2004 at 11:42 PM.

This poem is a reminescence of a soldier commenting on how so many people
were involved in the "War" , like the manufacturers of socks, unconciously.
At the beginning of the poem, the word 'etcetera' is used in its normal
sense,and the other things. But at the end of the poem it assumes a
different significance and becomes the central point, with etcetera written
using the capital letter 'E'.

Vivek from India
Comment 1 of 50, added on October 19th, 2004 at 11:51 PM.

This was the first poem I read that i actually enjoyed. It really got me
into Cummings. He is amazing! The way he experiments with form and syntax
is great.

David from United States

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Information about my sweet old etcetera... (X)

Poet: e.e. cummings
Poem: my sweet old etcetera... (X)
Added: Feb 20 2003
Viewed: 586 times
Poem of the Day: Jan 23 2010

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