she being Brand

-new;and you
know consequently a
little stiff i was
careful of her and(having

thoroughly oiled the universal
joint tested my gas felt of
her radiator made sure her springs were O.

K.)i went right to it flooded-the-carburetor cranked her

up,slipped the
clutch(and then somehow got into reverse she
kicked what
the hell)next
minute i was back in neutral tried and

again slo-wly;bare,ly nudg. ing(my

lev-er Right-
oh and her gears being in
A 1 shape passed
from low through
second-in-to-high like
greasedlightning)just as we turned the corner of Divinity

avenue i touched the accelerator and give

her the juice,good


was the first ride and believe i we was
happy to see how nice she acted right up to
the last minute coming back down by the Public
Gardens i slammed on

brakes Bothatonce and

brought allofher tremB
to a:dead.


Analysis, meaning and summary of e.e. cummings's poem she being Brand… (XIX)


  1. R. E. Syrett says:

    This poem and “Discovery” by Richard Brautigan were carefully removed by the schoolboard from a high school literature textbook we used in 1974. Stupid school board – the poems were in the table of contents, and we found them elsewhere and read them anyway. I remember little else of what I learned my senior year of high school, but I sure remember those two poems!

  2. MickFlyTW says:

    Quick note to all in the comments who point out the innuendo: Thank you Captains Obvious!

  3. Roger Bly says:

    Old thread, but yes this a sex poem.

  4. B Robinson says:

    Cummings definitely has a creative imagination.

  5. Sapphie says:

    this poem is amazing, we analyzed it it my junior ap english class, we loved it, it has the perfect amount of secrecy, but gives you a taste of how his mind works. total genious!!

  6. Rita Seniyasi says:

    well i must say the title of the poem “may i feel said he” was great at some point. Cummings comparing sex to a driving a car what more can I say..sexually charged indeed..

  7. Becki says:

    lane, i believe the “we” is simply referring to the narrator and the girl.

  8. lane richardson says:

    one of my favorite cummings poems… taking the virginity of a girl is compared to driving a new car; the exhiliration, the uncertainty, not knowing exactly what to do… also, i wonder who the “we” is.

  9. Ike says:

    One of my AP English students once handed this to me and stood there grinning while I read it. Dumb me, I failed to see what she was grinning about for a while. Then the light came on–boy, was I embarrassed. I used to do Yeats’ Leda and the Swan with my class and practically had to draw them a diagram, so now the shoe was on the other foot.

  10. Amelda says:

    i liked this poem and thought it would be great to do a paper on it. now i have screwed myself b/c i dont know how to analyze any poem. i just need some tips in analyzing IMAGERY, SYMBOLISM, SOUND, PERSONIFICATION, AND RHYME. HELP!!!!!!! This is due on Monday morning in my first block class. SOMEONE HELP!!!!!!!!!

  11. George Pinckney says:

    Re the movie, I know it was quoted in “PLain Clothes”, a great little sleeper movie that I rent every couple of years. The 25-year old police officer who is undercover in a high school reads the poem as an example of a metaphor, and blows the teenage students, and the 25 yr old teacher babe, away. Well worth a rental.

  12. gina says:

    the poem was written in 1926 (that is the date i got from my instuctor anyway)

  13. Lyn says:

    I’d like to know when this poem was written or published.
    I became acquainted with it in 1970-1 when our English teacher presented it to the class. I can’t remember our reactions but I do remember a feeling of having attained some measure of adulthood – to be given access to this sort of writing.
    Does anyone know when it was written?

  14. mholtman says:

    A uniquely sexually charged poem that certainly stands the test of time! AAA+++!!! However, I rented the CD of Hiding Out and have sat through it twice, but no reading of the poem by Jon Cryer that I could find. Perhaps they cut it for some reason?

  15. Philip says:

    The poem is good (even if I could not understand it)…My teacher in English 10 gave this poem for us to write a reaction. and doing so is very worthwile.

  16. dena says:

    i only wish my high school english class would have been this exciting! there is another cheesy 80’s movie(i can’t remember the name) about a cop going undercover and reading this in his class. the girls’ reactions in the movie say it all. guys: you can learn from this!

  17. ESchroeder says:

    Wow! I read this poem for the first time in my senior english class years ago and I must admit, it has the same effect on me now that it did back then. Wouldn’t you love to be the new car in this poem ladies?

  18. Paul Knittel says:

    This poem is quoted by Jon Cryer’s character, Andrew Morenski/”Maxwell Hauser,” in the movie “Hiding Out” (1987). I must say he does do it justice. It is worth sitting through the viewing of the entire movie (no matter what your opinion of the celluloid itself) just to hear Cryer’s excellent reading of this extremely hot poem.

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