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Analysis and comments on next to of course god america i... (III) by e.e. cummings

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Comment 24 of 384, added on May 31st, 2007 at 5:46 PM.


JOJO from United States
Comment 23 of 384, added on May 21st, 2007 at 5:58 AM.

At face value, E.E. Cummings’ “next to of course god america i”, impacts
the reader with little to no emotional influence. Instead, the poem
initially impresses its audience by assuming the appearance of,
essentially, an incomprehensible slew of words thrown together without
order or apparent meaning. As is the case for most well written, quality
poetry, however, close reading of “next to of course got america i”,
illustrates the author’s meticulous poetic methodology; in which not a
single syllable lacks explicit purpose in a connotative or denotative
sense. The poet effectively posits the tone and purpose for “next to of
course god america i”, through an, albeit grammatically convoluted, yet
suggestively crafted, seven word title, and by continuing on with the poem
as a satirical dramatization of the conflict between a public speaker’s
empty charade of patriotism, and the audience’s cynical reception of his
speech. The poet achieves the portrayal of this relationship through the
use of various literary devices, imagery, diction, rhyme, and other aural
and visual details throughout.
The speaker dictates the poem in two stanzas, the first being thirteen
lines, and the second only one. The total poem consists of fourteen lines
in combination with a clear rhyme scheme which makes it a sonnet. The
speaker leaves out all punctuation from the first stanza, except one
question mark at the end, to purposefully interfere with the reader’s
ability to comprehend the first stanza on the first read. The lack of
punctuation makes the speaker sound rambling and indefinite, and it makes
the poem’s first thirteen lines look like a random compilation of words.
The second stanza incorporates much more sanity by adding some
grammatically comprehensive punctuation in the form of a single period. The
rambling sound of the speech followed by the coherency exhibited by the
rational, one-lined listener juxtaposes the overall theme, which implies
that the supposed representatives of America are just figure heads chanting
empty, insubstantial lyrics of pretend patriotism from a speechwriters
poisoned ink pen. All the while, the American people are forced to watch
their soldiers, who are the ones fighting for American ideals, and acting
as the true muted voice of liberty, die, and shake their heads as they
suffer from one disappointing, representative inadequacy after

Alex from United States
Comment 22 of 384, added on March 23rd, 2007 at 7:02 PM.

this poem was published in 1926, which is most certainly NOT after World
War II. It IS, however, after World War I. Is this what you meant, Chris
S.? Also, this poem is very comparable to Wilfred Owen's "Dulce et Decorum
Est". They both lament the loss of so many young lives as well as clamor
against the presumption that "it is sweet and fitting to die for one's

"next to of course god america i" is absolutely not a patriotic poem. would
a patriotic poem include a lower-cased "america" in the title?

amy from United States
Comment 21 of 384, added on January 28th, 2007 at 10:56 PM.

Nadia, I really appreciated your comment! I am caught up on the "He" in
the poem's final line and not completely satisfied with the explanation
that He is a politician. Is it significant that He is capitalized while i
is not? Why drink a glass of water? Water has a lot of religious
associations including the forgiveness of sins and washing one's hands of
guilt. Or, perhaps the speaker is drinking water so that he will be able
to continue speaking. The rhetorical question, "shall the voice of liberty
be mute?" is interesting too. Does the speaker see himself as the voice of
liberty? I like the satirical tone, but am really lost on this final

colleen from United States
Comment 20 of 384, added on December 18th, 2006 at 7:59 PM.

I think the whole poem is sarcastic.

First he starts out with "next to of course god america i" The "of course"
suggests that, even though church and state are supposed to be separate,
they are not, and God rules the country.
In the next line he says "land of the pilgriims and so forth". What does
he mean by "and so forth"? Could he be refering to the native americans
and mexican people that were here before us and just kind of got pushed
The inclusion of the two patriotically famous songs could be a mockery of
our superfluous patriotism, later stating that "we should worry in every
language even deafanddumb thy sons acclaim your glorious name by jing by
gee by gosh by gum".
He then ends it with the extremely sarcastic "beautiful... happy dead who
rushed like lions to the roaring slaughter... then shall the voice of
libert be mute?". I kind of think that the last line has a double meaning.
It could mean that the soldier who fought for liberty are now dead, but I
like to think that it is refering to how they had no say in what they did.
The soldiers were ordered to go and die, but had no choice. They were not
allowed to think for themselves, or decide for themselves if what they were
fighting for was right. Since this was published after World War two, he
could be refering to the conscription (draft).

That's my opinion, but no one can really be right.
I'm only 17 after all, so if you don't accept my interpretation, ignore it.

Chris S. from United States
Comment 19 of 384, added on December 14th, 2006 at 1:40 PM.

This poem by e.e. cummings is about a man mocking a politition in a
chauvinistic manor. He is adorting his country and ridiculing it at the
same time.
Allusions to the National Anthom and the other patriotic song about how
great america is. But then "deafanddumb", "mute liberty", "heroic happy
dead." Young, inieve people goig tono a war without knowing the cause or
purpose for it.

Tanya from United States
Comment 18 of 384, added on December 14th, 2006 at 1:40 PM.

This poem by e.e. cummings is about a man mocking a politition in a
chauvinistic manor. He is adorting his country and ridiculing it at the
same time.
Allusions to the National Anthom and the other patriotic song about how
great america is. But then "deafanddumb", "mute liberty", "heroic happy
dead." Young, inieve people goig tono a war without knowing the cause or
purpose for it.

Tanya from United States
Comment 17 of 384, added on May 20th, 2006 at 1:10 PM.

I love how this poem uses my country tis of thee, and the star spangled
banner. This poem shows the great respect and love we have for our

Comment 16 of 384, added on April 20th, 2006 at 11:29 PM.

I like how many people misinterpret this poem. I have had many people read
it and some of them have even commented on the patriotism of e.e. Cummings.
This poem brilliantly combines [at the beginning] a sense of patriotism and
pride but [at the end] shows us how foolish we are for ignoring the down
side of war. Patriotism isn't all it is cracked up to be.

Tangy from United States
Comment 15 of 384, added on April 19th, 2006 at 11:11 AM.

I agree with the politician speech, seeing as though it is in quotes.
There is quite a sarcastic tone to this seeing as though 2 famous American
songs are in here. My country tis of thee......, and the star spangled
banner, he juxtaposes those pride and "our country is great" songs with
the "heroic happy dead"
And the only question i pose, is "the mute voice?" is that the voice of
the dead who fought in the war?

Doug from United States

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Information about next to of course god america i... (III)

Poet: e.e. cummings
Poem: next to of course god america i... (III)
Added: Feb 20 2003
Viewed: 188 times
Poem of the Day: Jan 28 2007

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