“Gay” is the captivating cognomen

“Gay” is the captivating cognomen of a Young Woman of cambridge,
mass.
to whom nobody seems to have mentioned ye olde freudian wish;
when i contemplate her uneyes safely ensconced in thick glass
you try if we are a gentleman not to think of(sh)

the world renowned investigator of paper sailors–argonauta argo
harmoniously being with his probably most brilliant pupil mated,
let us not deem it miraculous if their(so to speak)offspring has that largo
appearance of somebody who was hectocotyliferously propagated

when Miss G touched n.y. our skeleton stepped from his cupboard
gallantly offering to demonstrate the biggest best busiest city
and presently found himself rattling for that well known suburb
the bronx(enlivening an otherwise dead silence with harmless quips, out
of Briggs by Kitty)

arriving in an exhausted condition, i purchased two bags of lukewarm
peanuts
with the dime which her mama had generously provided(despite courte-
ous protestations)
and offering Miss Gay one(which she politely refused)set out gaily for
the hyenas
suppressing my frank qualms in deference to her not inobvious perturba-
tions

unhappily, the denizens of the zoo were that day inclined to be uncouthly
erotic
more particularly the primates–from which with dignity square feet
turned abruptly Miss Gay away:
“on the whole”(if you will permit a metaphor savouring slightly of the
demotic)
Miss Gay had nothing to say to the animals and the animals had nothing
to say to Miss Gay

during our return voyage, my pensive companion dimly remarlted some-
thing about “stuffed
fauna” being “very interesting” . . . we also discussed the possibility of
rain. . .
E distant proximity to a Y.W.c.a. she suddenly luffed
–thanking me; and(stating that she hoped we might “meet again
sometime”)vanished, gunwale awash. I thereupon loosened my collar
and dove for the nearest l; surreptitiously cogitating
the dictum of a new england sculptor(well on in life)re the helen moller
dancers, whom he considered “elevating–that is, if dancing CAN be ele-
vating”

Miss(believe it or)Gay is a certain Young Woman unacquainted with the
libido
and pursuing a course of instruction at radcliffe college, cambridge, mass.
i try if you are a gentleman not to sense something un poco putrido
when we contemplate her uneyes safely ensconced in thick glass

Analysis, meaning and summary of e.e. cummings's poem “Gay” is the captivating cognomen

31 Comments

  1. deshawa says:

    That is so lame 2 say somthing like that about gays.

  2. kolen says:

    ee cummings in a love with a gay man

  3. Melaney says:

    I agree with comment #1!!!!!

  4. V says:

    E E cummings is likely referring to Gertrude Stein (well known for her automatic writings) as the “Miss Gay” in this poem. Gertrude Stein was a known lesbian and was the first person to use the word “Gay” as it is commonly used today to refer to homosexual activity (at this time however it did not have a negative connotation.) Gertrude Stein, as the poem notes studied at Radcliffe. The general impression of her which the poem evokes seems to correspond to biographical descriptions of her.

  5. angi says:

    Is everybody out there crazy? Talk about homophobia! This poem has nothing to do with same sex. This was a man and a women going to the zoo. And how he see’s her. Imagines her sexuality behind her glasses. Read it again and get over yourselves…….

  6. Drumoon says:

    I imagine that E.E. would find all these comments quite entertaining.

  7. jennifer travis says:

    I think these poems are really good they should become part of a book

  8. Lori says:

    I’m doing research on him and
    I found this unapproit content I’m not very fond of. Whatev you guys are immatureeee!!

  9. ANONAMIS says:

    I agree with JEFF, # 16 comment

  10. Max says:

    Okay just in case this wasn’t obvious enough, stop with the pathetic jokes about the word” gay”. It’s annoying, if you want to be like that go somewhere else and do it, I really couldn’t care less. Have you even read the poem or are you all to busy beings idiots? If you want to make a comment, keep in mind that it should actually be appropriate and regard the poem and its actual subject matter. Thank you. By the way, it is a great poem by one of the most influential writers in the twentieth century, his language and stylistic writing is world renowned.

  11. idk says:

    that was soooooooo gay!!

  12. Devin says:

    i think that if you all think thst this poem is as contriversal as you say it is…keep it to your self..i thought that this poem had alot to say and that it is amazing in the way it makes you imagine the word “gay”

    i thought it was lovely

    -devin

  13. john williams says:

    try putting in words people can undertsand and if you aren’t gay dont type about it cause that just dumb

  14. denis says:

    why are you guys so gay. cant you just appretiate poetry for what it is. Who cares if he uses the word gay. That is of course unless you guys are 5.

  15. Crystal says:

    I peed my pants b/c I was so scaredd

  16. Jeff says:

    I am wondering what possesses one to comment on a poem. Presumably you all have read the poem. It seems to mean little to many of you. Why bother commenting at all? I would like to posit that the poem, or poetry in general, has evoked in you a sense of resentment. Some have lashed out at the poem as though you are thinking, “this will show those eggheads.” I would hope that exposer to the world of poetry, even if it only rases resentment, would prompt one to try and discover why people would waist so much time and energy. I suppose that the poem’s intent is beyond your narrow world view. “Gay” in the poem is the young lady’s name. When the poem was written the term was not associated with homosexuality. Cummings is contrasting the narrators world with that of the young lady. Gay is a socialite who is suppressing, not just sexuality but any impulse that is associated with the animal nature of humans. The narrator’s description of her shows a derisive feeling towards Gay’s narrow view of the world. As they walk through the zoo the animals a mating. This upsets Gay and later she states that she would like to see animals that are stuffed, “ Miss Gay had nothing to say to the animals and the animals had nothing/to say to Miss Gay/during our return voyage, my pensive companion dimly remarked some-/thing about “stuffed/fauna” being “very interesting. . . ” The theme is constant through the poem. When they separate Gay goes into a Y.W.C.A. Which while evocative of the Village People’s song Y.M.C.A. has nothing to do with it as the song came out long after the poet died. The Y.W.C.A. was part of an American social movement called the “Charter House Movement.” At the time the poem was written there was a social debate about the falling morals of society. Termed a “Social Crises” because the poor were not going to church and this was seen as leaving them vulnerable to Marxist ideologies. The Charter House movement were organizations that were formed to get the poor back in church. Organizations like the Salvation Army, Y.M.C.A. Good Will, Y.W.C.A. all find their roots at this time. That Gay goes that was and the narrator goes to the nearest “ helen moller/dancers, whom he considered “elevating–that is, if dancing CAN be ele-/vating” (strip club). Contrast the separation of art from the “high society” and “morality” from the artist. Gay in the end is “behind glass” much like the way she would prefer to see animals. This is a poem which evokes a great deal about how one is tied to both human society and human animal needs. As language changes we need to be careful not to associate new meaning on old poetry. I hope this will assuage some of the fear and anger some of you exhibit towards poetry. Perhaps ignorance is not bliss.

  17. FED_EX says:

    HEY I THINK YOR POEMS ALL COOL AND ALL BUT WERE DO YOU GET YO ISPIRATION….IM NOT GAY OR ANYTHING BUT I HAVE NOTHING AGAINST IT…BUT IM STILL NOT GAY THOUGH….HECKK NO…MY HUSBAND WOULD PROBABLY KILL ME BUT NICE POEM………

  18. Roll Eyes says:

    don’t wear your wrists out and be sure to clean off the keyboard of Mommy’s computer when you’re done.

    whadda buncha lamerz

  19. ConqueringId says:

    Cummings does not mean ‘gay’ the way your sick minds would imagine it. He is talking about a pristine innocent young lady who isn’t sexy at all, as he says ‘unasociated with the libido’ so in fact its just the opposite as you all think.

  20. no name says:

    hey eden! my mom and dad said that u were all wrong and that u need to grow up! just because i’m 5 doesn’t mean i can’t be gay! so get used to it and grow up!!
    p.s. thank u 4 your time!!!

  21. Caleb says:

    Hey eden thier r always goin to be gay’s Bi’s Tri’s. Should just get over it.

  22. emily d. says:

    hey! i loved your poem! i just wanted to know is it bad to be trisexual? i have a girl friend and she has 3
    *&^%&(&* i got to go c ya

  23. Eden says:

    some of you are just discusting. i think some of you are overacting a little. just because people are gay you dont have to make it sound like you are. i know gay people and they most of the time share nothing about it nor do they want to. grow up

  24. stephani c. says:

    i loved your poem if u were alive i woud marry u! but i want to go write a poem about being gay to. because i’m bisexual! se ya hotness

  25. patrick says:

    your poem was so moving i just want to keep reading it. i am so gay that i loved it. g2g _patrick-

  26. Jimmy says:

    It was the hottest poem that i have ever read and i love to read good poems!I think that it was the one i will hold in my heart for ever!Thank you!

  27. Stephanie says:

    It was the best poem that i have ever read in my school! It was exciting!

  28. Yaritza M. Nunez says:

    Your poems was different then what I usually read, different in many ways and understanding.

  29. Luke Nollin says:

    i love getting sweaty nut sacks in my mouth….its totally hott….reading this poem makes me want to screw a person in the ass

  30. A fellow butt fucker says:

    i think that this poem was quite offensive to me, and read it, threw up, and proceeded to fuck my life partner up the ass……wow that’s hot….

  31. Desiree' Quinn says:

    I think that the poem was very good!! Wait not Good, Great!!!!

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