If you can’t eat you got to

smoke and we aint got
nothing to smoke:come on kid

let’s go to sleep
if you can’t smoke you got to

Sing and we aint got

nothing to sing;come on kid
let’s go to sleep

if you can’t sing you got to
die and we aint got

Nothing to die,come on kid

let’s go to sleep
if you can’t die you got to

dream and we aint got
nothing to dream(come on kid

Let’s go to sleep)

Analysis, meaning and summary of e.e. cummings's poem If you can’t eat you got to


  1. Manda says:

    It kind of reminded me of the lazy, dusty image of the dust bowl when no one had anything. It seems like they don’t have anything to pass the time (eating, smoking, singing, dying, dreaming). All of these things are social. Even with death, people tend to die surrounded and cared for by their loved ones. Sleep is kind of a resignation. The last one is in parenthesis. This would be noticeable in and of itself, but it draws attention to the fact that a different punctuation is used for all four times “come on kid” is said.

  2. maria says:

    i think this iz a good poet and i love 2
    read his stuff they b intrestin

  3. Hatsumiyo-chan says:

    i find a lot of ee cummings’s poems odd, but they’re really good when you finally understand them. it took a while for me to get this particular poem, but when i got it, i finally could appreciate it! -_^

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