gee i like to think of dead it means nearer because deeper firmer
since darker than little round water at one end of the well it’s
too cool to be crooked and it’s too firm to be hard but it’s sharp
and thick and it loves, every old thing falls in rosebugs and
jackknives and kittens and pennies they all sit there looking at
each other having the fastest time because they’ve never met before

dead’s more even than how many ways of sitting on your head your
unnatural hair has in the morning

dead’s clever too like POF goes the alarm off and the little striker
having the best time tickling away everybody’s brain so everybody
just puts out their finger and they stuff the poor thing all full
of fingers

dead has a smile like the nicest man you’ve never met who maybe winks
at you in a streetcar and you pretend you don’t but really you do
see and you are My how glad he winked and hope he’ll do it again

or if it talks about you somewhere behind your back it makes your neck
feel pleasant and stoopid and if dead says may i have this one and
was never introduced you say Yes because you know you want it to dance
with you and it wants to and it can dance and Whocares

dead’s fine like hands do you see that water flowerpots in windows but
they live higher in their house than you so that’s all you see but you
don’t want to

dead’s happy like the way underclothes All so differently solemn and
inti and sitting on one string

dead never says my dear,Time for your musiclesson and you like music and
to have somebody play who can but you know you never can and why have to?

dead’s nice like a dance where you danced simple hours and you take all
your prickly-clothes off and squeeze-into-largeness without one word and
you lie still as anything in largeness and this largeness begins to give
you,the dance all over again and you,feel all again all over the way men
you liked made you feel when they touched you(but that’s not all)because
largeness tells you so you can feel what you made,men feel when,you touched,

dead’s sorry like a thistlefluff-thing which goes landing away all by
himself on somebody’s roof or something where who-ever-heard-of-growing
and nobody expects you to anyway

dead says come with me he says(andwhyevernot)into the round well and
see the kitten and the penny and the jackknife and the rosebug
and you
say Sure you say (like that) sure i’ll come with you you say for i
like kittens i do and jackknives i do and pennies i do and rosebugs i do

Analysis, meaning and summary of e.e. cummings's poem gee i like to think of dead


  1. JillMad says:

    Nothing of edward estlin cummings art was random or haphazard – he was the very-well-educated son of a Congregational Pastor, in Cambridge (Ladies, anyone?) I believe. He wrote an introduction to his book of poems, called Is Five that is quite illuminating. Please look it up! Also: Nobody loses all the time, if there are any heavens, The Emperor, — and please try to find a copy of The Enormous Room, for heartbreaking character studies of the other tenants of a prison in Mace, France, (It’s the true story of an adventurous, still idealistic young man who had volunteered to work for the Red Cross during the Spanish Civil War.) It’s a worthy story and a rewarding read.

    I share his love and fascination with words, studying the dictionary as a child, then Latin, French, C++. My ADHD-brain loves how he spins images and emotions, weaving with words, punctuation, cadence, and all the other variables that formed in that creative-blender that was his artist’s brain!

  2. Matthew says:

    Personally, I don’t see either of thoes. It could be interprited as such, but I definately wouldn’t tack it down to that, merely because he mentions largness and the dance. Then again, I never liked it when people other than the writer tries to convince people of a meaning. The reason poetry is beautiful is because it’s open to interpritation. To me it’s about the beauty, and different forms that death takes. However if I suspended my disbelief enough, I’m sure you could interprate it to things soldiers go through in war, or puberty, or devorce. Either way, don’t get caught up too deeply on tying it to tie it to something, just let it be beautiful, and influence you in it’s own way.

  3. Ronnie Apter says:

    This poem is about a young adolescent exploring her new feelings of interest in men with both excitement and dread. “Dead” in the poem symbolizes her sense that the changes of puberty will make her someone as unimaginable to her younger self as the state of being dead is unimaginable to an adult.

  4. rinnnnnn says:

    ohhhhh that sent tingles down my spine- i love the contrast he uses, and the way he makes you pay attention with the randomness of the punctuation. intense

  5. ihearteecummings says:

    you guys!! this poem isn’t about death at all, it’s about a woman loosing her virginity. if you keep that in mind and reread the poem, i think it is apparent. I really like his use of simple (almost childish) language in this peom to express adult, sexual ideas. Its an intresting contrast. Great poem!

  6. katherine says:

    what the hell it doesn`t make sense. and neither does that title.

  7. lisa says:

    I love this poem.
    how cummings portrays dead is so seductive… it’s wonderful

  8. ang says:

    This is an amazing poem. The way that Cummings refers to death as largeness really struck me- sinking into something infinitely larger then yourself, taking off the prickly garment of life and falling into something ‘too firm to be hard.’

  9. maeve says:

    I love all the run on sentences.

  10. Babe says:

    One of his best poems, also love Buffalo Bill and Pretty How Town

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Do you have any comments, criticism, paraphrasis or analysis of this poem that you feel would assist other visitors in understanding the meaning or the theme of this poem by e.e. cummings better? If accepted, your analysis 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.