in Just-
spring when the world is mud-
luscious the little lame baloonman

whistles far and wee

and eddyandbill come
running from marbles and
piracies and it’s

when the world is puddle-wonderful

the queer
old baloonman whistles
far and wee
and bettyandisbel come dancing

from hop-scotch and jump-rope and


baloonMan whistles

Analysis, meaning and summary of e.e. cummings's poem in Just-


  1. DATo DATonian says:

    My Interpretation:

    The poem to me represents the dichotomy of the ages of the characters.

    The ballonman is stated to be old, lame, and poor. (If he is selling balloons for a living he must be poor.)

    The children by contrast are young, full of energy / vitality, and residing in that magical time of life known as the age of innocence, – before the realities of how harshness and evil the world is made manifest to them.

    The bridge between the two are the balloons. To the children they are a source of brightly colored and amusing toys. To the balloonman they are only a source of income. The magic and joys of youth have long since abandoned the balloonman.

    The children have the rest of their lives to live. The balloonman is in the autumn of his years. We hear his shrill whistle dimly as he hobbles into the distance to his sad destined fate as the children revel in the joy of their newly acquired balloons, totally and mercifully ignorant of the harshness of life which awaits them.

  2. Kim Hoopingarner says:

    I think this poem is about spring and talking spring and playing out side

  3. MorbidOp says:

    This poem is definitely about the loss of innocence, but there is something that I think a lot of people are overlooking; the year this poem was released (1920) was the same year Trojan condoms first came out. Just sayin.

  4. Tilly says:

    I really don’t think you can say that you ‘shot down ideas’. cummings isn’t here to tell us what this poem is about, and because of that, I don’t think you can dismiss any idea – they are all as reasonable as each other. however, the Greek god Pan (not PaM) was the god of many things: nature, spring, hunting as well as fertility and sexuality. also, the Pagan god, also called Pan, is very similar, depicted with horns, cloven hooves, and a forked tongue and tail (this is the image which Christianity took to represent the devil). Both of these gods are often pictured with a large phallus. Also, the connection with the devil I find interesting. To sum up my ideas of the poem briefly, I think that it is set over three springs, the first with ‘eddieandbill’, the second with ‘bettyandisbel’ and the third with only the balloon man. to me it seems that the children pass down rumours of the balloonman, and he becomes more sinister as each spring comes by. the parents also worry, thinking him to be ‘queer’, and warn their children to stay away, believing him to be overly sexual (reference to Pan, and the reason for the capatilisation of man in ‘balloonMan’) and the children thinking him to be evil (the Devil), although the innocent balloonman is innocent. the way the children are now avoiding him saddens him, and so the spacing of ‘far and wee’ changed, become slower and slower to mimic the unhappy tone of his whistling. I don’t think that your AP American Literature class can come up with the definitive answer to what this poem is about.

  5. Chase Christensen says:

    Obviously upon reading this I directly am seeing the “reader response lens” and the “psychological lens as well. Interesting enough I have heard this poem being of childhood sexuality and pedophiles. This is the result of conflicting time periods. When this poem was written people offering balloons was not an uncommon thing. Unlike now a days people selling balloons where not pedophiles they where people in hard times trying to make a living. the idea of a “goat footed balloon man” is more of one of joy and spring. I researched this reference made in the poem. The reference is to the greek god Pam. Pam was the god of spring, music and theater. He is truly a positive god. He is also considered to be a god of herding and flocks. Interesting enough the the man seems to be herding the children during spring. Contrasting the possible sorrow or hardships of the man and the joy of spring and what he is giving to the children. He is not a pedophile. We associate spring with the season of rape, and strangers as dangers, but this is not hat E.E. cummings was thinking about. Pam is a postive character and so is spring. spring was the end of winter the start of summer. harvest were being planted and food and joy were in the near future. This contrasting of joy and the lame or queer baloon man is discussing the nature of joy. How a balloon man and children can feel joy no matter what situation in the time of spring. the idea of the world being mud. the world today is mud in many peoples minds, but whats important is that no matter the situation they still find joy. the goal of this book is to look at the simple things of life like spring balloons, and children and how they bring such joy to the world. This joy of the simple things in life is what we must seek. dont take life too seriously seek out joy and hope. This poem is not about pedophiles. this poem is not about childhood sexuality. I am writting this out of my AP american literature class. We have discussed this and shot down those ideas. That idea came from conflicting time periods and ideologies that result from that conflict

  6. jane says:

    My child at sharon is doing a project about e.e. cummings and is learning about this poem

  7. Jim says:

    The people who read deeper meanings of depravity into this paean to the giddy breezes of new life need to listen to Professor Tom Lehrer– “I could tell you things about Peter Pan, and the Wizard of Oz is a dirty old man!”

  8. skidaddle says:

    My interpretation is kinda different from a lot of the other ones. It does have a kind of irony in it – connected with “injustice.” That injustice seems to refer to one of two things:
    1) The balloonman is a pedophile, as some suggest, and abusing kids, giving them “joy” but making them also dirty, and the injustice could be that the children sometimes find it sad that they bust these guys who abuse them, but also treat them really nice.
    2) What seems even more convincing is a comment on homosexuality, as evinced by the balloonman’s “queer”ness. Dismissing the terms – insisting only on one meaning, not the other, seems to defeat the purpose of poetry – poets choose words for a reason – the multiple meanings. If we take it in the sense of homosexual, not strange or weird, then here, the balloonman is perhaps some personification of homosexual joy. The closeness of “bettyandisabel” or “eddyandbill” can be seen then to be more than just childhood friendship. There is nothing funny, or gross about this, but rather, the poem seems to be saying that their joy is considered “unjust” via the words “in Just-” and it seems it could be read different ways: could be a disgust for homosexuality, could be (seems to me more) consideration and sorrow for homosexuality and the discrimination of it, or the slander – such as its connection with communism under Joseph McCarthy.

    It should also be noted we can read the first line and it seems most certainly best read like this – as BEING IN something – called Just; someone commented it was silly to say it is injustice, just as it would be silly to call it “In Justin.” I hadn’t thought of it, but the speaker is saying “IN” something called Just; perhaps it IS Justin, or a male person. Another element of the poem has to do with capitalization – which is associated with names. Just and Man are capitalized. Could here be the contrast with woman – again, from a male perspective, perhaps a sexual love between two men.

    All of this seems apt or – I mean, who knows what authors intend? Least of all do they know themselves. Sometimes their darkest, most repressed desires come out. But who knows. The one thing that does seem weird is if we just take it literal, then it is a bad poem, and further, kind of weird ideas. Childhood? I mean – yeah, fun – but either regressive, or kinda strange feelings. There is of course, though, a curiosity also present in the poem that is interesting.

  9. Gymmyfangfriend says:

    to steve in the united states:
    PAN is the god of the wild. APHRODITE is the goddess of fertility and love.

  10. Ashleigh says:

    I think that this poem is about the children growing up and becoming aware of the presence of sexuality.
    At the beginning , it’s childlike and innocent, but ideas like ‘mud-luscious’ using ‘mud’ from the child’s realm and ‘luscious’ which is a rather adult term introduce the process of maturing. This is added to by the capitalisation of the M in ‘balloonMan’ later in the poem – the children now realise that he is indeed a man, not just a person, and they become aware of the adult world and of sexuality.
    The spacing at the end could be showing that the children realise that they’re no longer going to be children and are trying to hang onto that part of their lives so Cummings is dragging out the ending. The final ‘wee’ could be sad, thinking about all that will be lost; questioning whether or not it’s a good thing to be growing up; excitement to grow up & carry on the next chapter; or simply the abrupt end to innocence.

  11. emily smith says:

    in my freshman english class i need to know what type of poem in just is- example- haiku, sonnet, narrative, etc…

  12. Kiki says:

    Read within the lines guys! My fast paced language arts class analyzed this, and you’d be amazed by the true definition!!!
    The goat-fitted balloon man is actually a child molester. Notice, the kids disappear after they see him. He’s in the background, quietly whistling, and watching the kids in the spring. Slowly, with a lame foot, he moves in closer. Notice, how the poem ends with with WEE bolded and written bigger, showing that he’s moving in closer. He’s just using the balloons to attract the children. The title, In Just, forms 1 word; Injust. That’s why it starts off with In just balloon man, or Injust balloon man. E.E. Cummings is writing about the evil in the world, and how when you’re young, the world looks happy. But it’s not, there’s evil lurking out there. Read the WHOLE poem, and look for the deeper meaning within it. You’ll be surprised with what you find!!

  13. Kaurav Bogati says:

    Today i read the poem by E E Cumming and its full of symbols.And the poem is about the children who is innocent and balloon man is nature and goat footed which is not exited in the poem.It is just a symbol.And when the child became teenager their attitude changed and finally when they turned into adulthood from teenager.Spring season means time of fertility.So the poet shown name without any space and when they turn into adulthood then there is whistle and its all natural and it happened.And it tried to show the sexual and sensual because poet do not close the poem.And in this Cumming’s poem unwritten part is much more powerful and important which is not shown in the poem.

  14. steve says:

    the goat footed balloon man is pan, the god of fertility, and also of love/sex. it’s about people losing their innocence. it’s not about spring.

  15. kassidy says:

    i think this poem is about how spring is the time where everything is reborn and young and new and fresh and pure and innocent- so it’s naturally the time where children are drawn to play outside in the nature and beauty of the earth and really connect with each other and the enviornment around them. and even though it is beautiful and fresh its also beautiful in from a child’s eyes: ex. “mud-lucious” and “world of puddles” – who appreciates puddles besides a kid? then the balloonman represents an adult who has to signal to call in the children and herd them in from their play back into the counterinnocent world of adults. and the lame, queer, and goat-footed are merely insults whispered behind the adult’s back by the children for interupting and trying to alter their fun. because wouldn’t it be great if the world worked where you could play outside and connect with the earth and your playmates and not have to ever “come inside” or answer to that call? and yet “adulthood” takes over and whistles for us.

  16. kelsey says:

    i read comment about the ballonman representing Pan, the Greek god and i thought that the physically shape of the poem actually kind of looks like pan himself.

  17. ema says:

    I’m a freashman and i attend advanced course. we are entitled to writes a essay on a poem that we are not to choose. I was assigned in Just and I’m having a fair bit of trouble interpreting the message behind. though your comments have greatly helped i find writing an essay on this poem quite difficult.I am rahter confused by his capitalization when lastly addressing the ballonman he writes as ballonMan not like the other ways it is written throughout the poem. Maybe its my some what deteriating childhood or my somewhat intelligance but I agree that this poem is a reminicence( problably mispelled)of a childhood memeroy

  18. angi says:

    It’s spring fever happening! He’s calling eddy and bill, betty and isabel (children} on the way to adulthood. Puberty? I think so……Using Pan was perfect. Brilliant

  19. veRani(ca Cummings says:

    My favorite poet is Mr. Cummings, and there is no reason whatsoever that you should disrespect him just because he talks about a ballonman. I AM HIS GRANDDAUGHTER FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE!!!

  20. jeff says:

    Twice in the poem Cummings attributes less-than-desirable adjetives to the Balloonman. “Lame” and “goat-footed.” I do not believe Cummings specifically intends Satan with these words, but indicates a diabolical or impure aspect to the character. He leads them from the mindless joys of childhood as we all must metaphorically. Our Balloonmen have been jobs or responsibilities or sex…etc.

  21. Lisa says:

    Someone asked about the balloonman. Note how he mentions- what is is? goatfeet? The balloonman is Pan. Lighthearted, mischevous fellow.

    Or so I think.

  22. henry says:

    I agree that it is about pan and the whisle

  23. sjwshirley says:

    I’m always thinking of what the balloonman stand for… But no answer. Is there anyone can help?

  24. Sarah says:

    After reading what all of you have written about this poem, in Just-, by E. E. Cummings, I agree and strongly disagree with what your interpritations are.

    To me, this is a poem about growing up and loosing innocence on the way. I do not think it has anything to do with Satan, the goat footed man is just Pan, the Greek god of herding and music. From what I know about E. E. Cummings, though it is little, I really don’t think that he would have Satan mentioned in a poem with this message. How ever, all we can do is agree and disagree with what each of us say because there is no way we can ask him what his real meaning of this poem was, and from all of these comments I see no sign that he wrote down his real message in some sort of autobigraphy.

    This is just my opinion though, and everyone has a right to state their own opinion.

  25. rofflesauce says:

    also note that eddieandbill and bettyandisbel correspond:

    eddie rhymes with bettie, and bill sounds like isbel, which implies that they are meant to be together. this can either play on the “love” theme, or the ideas behind maturation and the progression of time.

  26. J says:

    Pan was also a god of chaos. He drove people into unexpected lust, and he also played pipes, which the whistle may represent in the poem. This poem then is filled with hints of sexuality, intoxication, and even pedophilia.

  27. beth says:

    i’m teaching this poem to my english class tomorrow and hae been trying to interpret the poem. i’m only in high school but i, personally, think that cummings is sort of reminising about childhood. he talks about a ballonman and spring and child games. he says that “eddieandbill come running” and i think when he says this he is refering to two kids running up o a balloon man literally to get a balloon. no hidden meanings about sex and awakening. also, the way he phrases it “eddieandbill” and “bettyandisbel”, when i read it out loud i want to say it fast because of how it is written, this could be intentional reference to the way children speak when they are excited, and when children get to get balloons from the balloonman they quite possibly could be excited. also i think the “whistles fara and wee” part is his way of saying its in the past, its far away and fading with time, much like the “whistles far and wee” seems to get further away towards the end of te poem, almost as if it is fading away like a distant memory. this supports the idea that he is reminising. the goatfooted thing seems to be more of a reference to pan the greek diety and the heralding of spring.
    i really don’t get how people are getting satan out of the poem though at all.

  28. mike says:

    camille, have you read the poem out loud to yourself? if not, try it. then have someone else read it to you. if you do this, you will understand.

  29. Camille says:

    I am a student and will be doing a report on E.E. Cummings and his poem “In Just-” and let me say, it is unfortunatly very difficult to comprehend his poetic language and use of grammar. I do not get this poem and am discouraged. This is another failing grade from Ms. Lopez.

  30. Dulles says:

    Discussion of this poem always seems to center on a movement toward evil (pan/satyr/goatMan/etc…), a loss of childhood; but to me, it seems to be a movement in the other direction. A celebration of Spring (hope and joy to come) and out of Winter (cold and depressed).
    The goatMan is always “far and wee”, never moving closer (unless we consider next winter).
    The carefree awakening of new life is evidenced by bettyandisbel playing hopscotch (see the (spacing of the) stanzas below) in spite of the whistleing balloonMan. (skip skip jump jump jump)

    from hop-scotch and jump-rope and



    balloonMan whistles

  31. Melanie says:

    The title of this poem is Chansons Innocentes part I. The entire poem is in three parts. It comes from the collection titled Tulips and Chimneys published in 1923. It has become customary to list even poems with titles by their first lines because so few of cummings’s poems have titles. Anyone could look this up. It’s not up for discussion what the “title” in Just means! This posting does harm to the poem with incorrect line breaks and spelling errors. To Benny from Canada: note the balloonman starts out lame and ends up goat-footed (meaning sure-footed)! cummings always celebrates innocence.

  32. liz says:

    This poem is simply AMAZING.

  33. patrick says:

    i love this poem i actually recited it for a class prject
    and got a A. my teacher is also a fan.

  34. Benny says:

    Something I forgot to mention – the title. “In Just-” is most likely abbreviated. The full title would be “In Justice”, or “Injustice”. This brings up another paradox. If you say it like, “In Justice”, it means that children inevitably losing their innocence is a just occurence and that it happens to the best of us. However, if you read it as, “Injustice”, it’s a commentary on the bitterness that it’s not fair that little children have to be so easily led astray into adulthood (i.e.: perversion) thus losing their innocence forever.

  35. Benny says:

    In our class we simplified the entire poem. The “goatfooted balloonMan” is an allusion to Pan from Greek mythology. He was promiscuous and overtly sexual, constantly trying to seduce the Nymphs. The little children symbolize innocence, and Pan (balloonman) symbolizes perversion. The balloonman (something fun that children would enjoy) is calling to them. “Wee” could be the sound of him whistling or it could add to the irony that the children are happy (i.e.: “Whee! Balloonman!”) to follow him but don’t even realize that they’re leaving childhood behind and becoming more acquainted with uglier things (i.e.: perversion) in life.

    Paraphrase: Loss of innocence.

  36. satyr says:

    the ballonman with goat feet refers to a faun or satyr

  37. balloonman says:

    balloon is spelled b a l l o o n, not b a l o o n. there are two l’s. i looked this up and saw this poem elsewhere, and it is not cummings’s mistake, it is yours.

  38. winnie says:

    all u robert frost lovin mo fo’s don’t know poetry. Frost is the Paris Hilton or the andrew lloyd weber of writing. too much hype, not enough talent.

  39. Winnie says:

    I agree. In “if i believe”, a work from his highly-proclaimed “The Enormous Room”,his title is derived from the first line in his poem. As well, let it be known that e e cummings is the shit. He’s the Jackson Pollack and Jimi Hendrix of the literary world!!! e e is my fav!

  40. Nikki says:

    I disagree with the other ideas of what the title means.

    Like many of Emily Dickenson’s poems, the title could simply be the first line of the poem. If you look back, the first line of the poem is indeed, “in Just-“… exactly the same way as the title is.

    But that’s my opinion.

  41. Dawnhour says:

    In my opinion, i think that cummings wrote this poem to retell the story of Adam and Eve, except through a child’s point of view. The balloon man is the snake because at first he seems harmless but later he says that he is whistling far and wee.

  42. Katalia says:

    have you ever just stopped and realized that maybe there is no “deep meaning” that has to be interpreted?
    maybe e.e. just wanted to write a poem about kids going to see the balloon man. And when he says goat footed balloon man, maybe the balloon man just has goat feet. Maybe not.

  43. cool says:

    I think that this is the best poem that I have vere read in my whole entire really long life. I like it a lot. It is cool!!!!!!!!!

  44. Kasper says:

    (I haven’t read through many of the interpretations so far, though I see some very interesting takes here. I see some people talking about what is ‘right’ or ‘correct’, and I just wanted to clarify that ‘correctness’ is not something I even give thought to in poetry, so what follows really is only an interpretation – one which someone else may have already put forward :> also, a lot of this is very ex tempore)

    the first thing that is clear to me about the poem is that it is a very specific moment. time is not even a factor because the scene of the poem is so fixedly and blissfully in the “puddle-wonderful” present. I agree with most that this poem is about childhood and a type of loss thereof, but there is no ‘process’ here or arc of growth. it’s a single, simple moment in springtime which by all appearances is innocent and fresh; and indeed it’s only by looking more closely at the changes occurring that any depth is involved. but essentially I prefer to think that the focus is on the moment itself rather than on all that it connotes.
    in any case, what does interest me and what I realise most vividly about “in Just-” is the variety of activity taking place, and the contrast between the children and the bal(l)oonman (mis-spelt I think to involve more closely the childhood perspective) and what these two parties actually do. there is an apparent joviality and ease about the baloonman as he is introduced to us, he is whistling and is presumably carrying balloons which are symbols of light-heartedness and simple joy (and of something else, which I’ll get to in a moment); also, because “wee” as a word referring to small size is an uncommon word outside of British dialects as far as I know, my intuition tells me upon reading the word in its free, unpunctuated context as an uplifting exclamation of glee, normally spelled “whee!”. the word “wee” in its adjective form and meaning is important to another aspect of my interpretation; but in terms of action which I want first to look at, the fact that “wee” as seen as an exclamation is not punctuated or emphasised (e.g. with an exclamation mark) makes the tone fun but not entirely passionate. now immediately following the baloonman’s introduction we are presented with a kind of exuberant onslaught of happening and imagery, associated with the rapid growth and noise of spring. but there is a contrast present already here, I feel, between the baloonman and “eddyandbill” in terms of action or role: all the baloonman does is whistle, and though I’ve not seen the poem in this way before, this whistle seems now to be a call almost like a ‘pied piper’ leading the children; at the baloonman’s whistle, “eddyandbill” leave their activities without hesitation, and there’s an irony to this that I think is significant. if the poem is seen to be about departing from childhood, and the “baloonMan” is the epitome of adulthood (as I’ll show in a moment), then it seems awfully strange that the children are so willing to leave their game and “piracies” behind. there’s a certain kind of naïvety going on here alongside the shift of maturing which makes the poem mildly ironic.
    anyway, next in terms of action we have the baloonman (this time “queer / old”, certainly interpretable as adulthood which is understandably strange or ‘queer’ to children) whistling once again: his action remains the same. but there are new children (“bettyandisbel”) who come also to follow him, but from different activities; and here I think is the crux. all the baloonman does is ‘whistle far’, the same activity every time, but each time the children depart (“running” and “dancing”) from different and varied activities (“marbles and / piracies”, “hop-scotch and jump-rope”). what I see this all amounting to is that Cummings is suggesting that adulthood as opposed to childhood is far more limited and single-minded, but changing and new in other ways: though the actions taking place do not change, and actually appear somewhat monotonous and impersonal (no value judgement is made on ‘whistling far’), something else does change upon each ‘whistle’; instead of the activity changing, the _people_ themselves change: the baloonman is “little [&] lame”, “queer [&] old”, and finally “goat-footed” – the last morphosis crossing over into illogicality, showing that while in terms of activity and play adulthood is drab, the imagination becomes enhanced and enlarged.
    tying into this view of the baloonman as a kind of “anti-Peter Pan” leading children into adulthood under the pretense of yet another fun game are the balloons themselves as symbols; while as children life offers no pressure in terms of goals to achieve and standards to set and meet, as an adult there are constantly dozens of “balloons” – targets of achievement set by society – to be grabbed at and hypothetically attained (also termed the rat race). as far as I can see, what this poem seems to be saying, in a slightly ironic sense, is that we as people living in society (comprised largely of tensions and expectations such as those of the sexes; Cf. “eddyandbill” vs. “bettyandisbel”) have a kind of inherent instinct for – to put it bluntly – money-grubbing and the furious hunt for ‘dreams’ which as young children we aren’t conscious of but which we become more and more aware of as these paradigms are pounding into our heads. the scenario of this poem is really a kind of ‘merry dance into doom’ in that the bliss of marbles and piracies and hop-scotch can never again be attained, because we forsake them for the mere pursuit of ‘balloons’. this makes us into small people, ‘little’ or ‘wee’ people, because we forsake a pure part of ourselves to achieve things in life we are told we want. that is why the baloonMan is called derogatory things like old, lame, little – in comparison to the free and blissfully ignorant children the baloonMan is haggard and unhappy. the fact that the baloonMan ‘whistles far’ indicates the facades and new roles we adopt to cope with what we lose from the transition out of childhood, which though far richer in some senses is a ‘far cry’ from the bliss of childhood. what we gain is understanding and consciousness, which ironically shows us what we had but didn’t realise we had.

    the thing about literary analysis is that it all sounds so much more complicated written out and rationalised than what it actually reads as. all of these thoughts and theories are only connotations I see upon reading the poem and thinking about, and it’s the translating of that into language which makes it seem analytic and complex. anyway, if someone read my interpretation as far as this, I appreciate it. ;> if this interpretation adds to someone’s appreciation of the poem, even better. I tend to see a kind of sarcastic or ironic humour in a great deal of Cummings’ work; but then again at face value this poem is notably jolly, so it’s really a matter of what one feels like seeing, or letting oneself see.

  45. KM says:

    While doing research on e. e. cummings (also presented as E. E. Cummings,) I stumbled upon this web page and was fascinated by the various interpretations and individual ideas that were expressed on the comments link. Gathering from the totality of my research, I would have to say that I have come to the conclusion that, overall, while the poem does convey the theme of childhood/sexually cognizant maturation, it also presents an intriguing sense of the concept of innocence, especially when juxtaposed with cummings’s other, commonly graphic and sexually explicit poetry. Although I have identified a sexual motif in the poem, I heartily disagree with the balloon man/pedophile idea, and I don’t believe that the poem is an attempt to showcase a perverted or disgusting sense of humor.

    P.S. Andre – I think that if you want to correct the erratic internet grammar of others, you should look first to your own “typos.” (I.e. “i” should be ‘I,’ “english” should be ‘English,’ etcetera.) I am pointing this out not because I really wish to be picky about spelling on the internet, but rather because I think that it is rather rude and hypocritical of you to call people “stupid” and berate their spelling online. Thank you.

  46. Lamia Moe says:


  47. Katy (17) says:

    I’m in my final year of school, and I’m doing my final setwork/poetry exam tomorrow/today(as it’s past midnight already). This poem is one of our set poems. And I love it! Here’s my interpretation, I sure as Hell hope what our teacher taught us is right.

    Okay, I don’t think the words “in Just-” have anything to do with “injustice”. If you’re gonna argue that, you may as well argue that the poem was written for a friend called “Just- in” (Justin – haha, I’m not serious, just as “injustice” is not right either). Well, everyone gets the general idea of “mud-luscious” and “puddle-wonderful”. “Little lame balloonman” – when the kids are young, they have sympathy for the balloonman, they’re too innocent to know of any abnormalities or prejudices that grownups may have – ie. feeling wary towards a creepy looking guy. So to them, he’s just “lame” (not lame, as in corny or stupid, lame in a childlike way). Jumping ahead, he becomes the “queer old balloonman”, now the kids are growing up, and they’re beginning to notice he’s different and strange. In the last stanza, it’s the “goat-footed balloonMan”. I don’t think it’s Pan, I think it’s Satyr, the goat-man representation of adulthood and lust. He’s not a balloonman anymore to the kids, he’s now a Man (with a capital “M”), ie. adulthood, lust, no more innocence. They’re grown up, and he’s completely foreign to them, they’re wary and afraid of him.

    “Whistles far and wee” in the 2nd stanza, there’s only spaces between the “far”, emphasizing how much distance his whistling is carrying (maybe), but the point is that there’s a normal space between the “and wee”. In the 3rd (?) stanza, it’s “far and wee” and the spaces are bigger – meaning, as the kids are growing up and seeing balloonman in a new light, they aren’t as quick and eager to come running to him. In the last stanza, there’re complete lines separating the “far and wee”, meaning now they’ve grown up, they don’t come to his call anymore. The spaces just go on forever, like his whistles reaching no ones ears.

    Random stuff: Firstly, “Spring” meaning growth, vitality, the growth of children into adulthood. The “eddieandbill” and “bettyandisbel” is representing the closeness of the friends. But, in the 2nd stanza, when they’re still young, the boys coming “running” (fast, excited) from “marbles and piracies (Haha, – piracy is a crime *cough*) and those are imaginative games. In the next stanza, the girls coming dancing (slower than running, and they’re focusing on their dancing, sort of preoccupied, not fully interested on balloonman) and they come from “hop-scotch and jump-rope” and those are more practical games. When children grow up, they lose their innocence, and ability to dream – sort of. And in the last stanza, no kids are mentioned, ’cause they’ve grown up and no one comes anymore.

    Hope this wasn’t too long, and I hope I’m right! I don’t think anyone will ever know. But I hope this maybe helped someone, but then again, this is just my interpretation! ^_^

  48. Andre says:

    The stupidity of some of you amazes me. While i think the poem is open to interpretations, maybe some of you should learn to use proper english (typing “you” instead of “u” isn’t that hard, and kids who don’t understand the poem don’t look here for help, didnt you read the rules before posting? no homework help). On the other hand, some of you have very interesting interpretations of the poem. here is mine:
    “Goat-Footed” refers to the Greek god Pan, who is a man above the waist and has the form of a goat below the waist. He is the God of nature as well as herding. Traditionally, nature in poems has served as a symbol for purity and that which is untouched by the corruption of mankind. Wouldn’t this seem to make sense to go along with the theme of a child’s purity? Also, he is the god of herding and sheparding; in a way he shepards the children who have come out to play on a lovely spring day. The title, in Just refers to the injustice of growing old. While the children play and have fun, the man is still working, despite the happy atmosphere. This is my take on it, i’m not saying its right or wrong.

  49. Ruby says:

    In the first line the words ‘in just’ make you think of injustice-this suggests that the little lame balloonman has suffered from the injustice of not being able to play and experience childhood like the children mentioned in the poem.

    He therefore brings joy and happiness to them by travelling far distances(far and wee)
    to bring them balloons- he brings them the joy and happiness that he couldnt experience as a child himself as he was crippled(lame-goat footed)

    He also doesnt want ant sympathy for being ‘lame’ as it brings him joy by bringing joy to other small children.

  50. Tom says:

    In the first stanza he says “when the world is mudlicious” meaning that children can come out to enjoy the beginning of spring. The little lame balloon man can be described as a person that is handing out balloons of fun. Then the next stanza describes to very good friends playing and stopping what they are doing to go and receive their balloons. The last line of the second stanza says “and its spring” means that everything is just grateful in life when its spring. The line that separates the second stanza and the third stanza suggests that everything is just joyful for children. The second to last stanza describes the same thing of the first two stanzas of how spring is growing, new, and amazing for children. Finally the last stanza will start the whole process of children stopping what they are doing to acquire their balloon of fun.

  51. Peachie says:

    I think that the poem refers to the transition of Spring in the perspective of the children. Like Christmas, when kids grow up, they see events such as Christmas or in this case, SPring, as something trivial. The magic or spirit of that season gets lost. That is why notice the spacing in “far and wee”. It gets farther and farther. This is the whistling made by Pan (who is the allusion for the balloonman) who has reeds. He is the GOd of Nature and also music, and he epitomizes spring since as mentioned, he is the GOd of Nature. In Just is a compact way of saying: “When spring is finally here.” Pan is represented as a balloonman probably because a balloonman is a figure that entices and excites the kid regardless of his sex. So as the children grows up they deem the balloonman to be a mythical figure, since like Spring, they see it to be a myth then, nothing real or special.

  52. k says:

    my teacher is asking me about the speaker,setting,purpose,stylistic and conflict.but the problem is that i have no idea about it.i need help anyone please,and thank u to anyone who helpa me.

  53. jomar decastro says:

    The poem is about how innocence is fooled by flashyy happy figures.THe author tried to paint everything wth happiness to cover the bad motives of the ballonman. l8ter he revieled tht the ballonman is like pan lascivous and lustful though free spirited.. jomar

  54. Joshua says:

    Notice that the word ‘spring’ always appears separate from the other words. It’s akin to a disconnect — as if the children (or something else) are cut off from the ‘mud-luscious’ and ‘puddle-wonderful’ nature of spring though they’d like to immerse their juvenile curiosity in it. Or ‘spring’ can refer to the walking motion a goat-footed old balloonman might make…i.e. ‘springing’ or lurching forward. Additionally, ‘far and wee’ morphs into ‘far and wee’ and finally so that ‘far’ is on top, ‘and’ is in the middle and ‘wee’ is below, which suggests capture or a change in the distance between what is far and what is wee. Also notice that ‘balloonman’ becomes ‘balloonMan’, which implies a change in the relative size of the satyr to the children. Methinks this poem is meant to be queer (i.e. odd) and in so doing, Cummings is teasing the innocence of childhood with suggested pedophilia…and he’s using this as a way to suggest the violation of nature (the children) by rationality (the misshapen goat-footed lecher).

  55. poop says:

    i like to poop apples and bannanas, i ain’t no holla back girl

  56. Klutte says:

    Ok everyone i have to write a essay on this poem and i have no idea how to start. My teacher asks us a whole bunch of questions and i have o idea how to answer them! questions like: whats going on? whats he writing about? How does the idea and format work to produce a masterful poem? What does the poet seam to be saying about spring? what images or impressions are created about spring? how does he manipulate language to creat his impressions? How are impressions about spring created?
    And the he asks us to creat a theisis statement of the dominating impression of spring. I need help anyone please and thankyou to anyone who helps me!

  57. egbert says:

    the balloon man is a pedophile. goat-footed refers to a satyr which is a perverted mythological character. and all the wees and wees sound so queer and sick.

  58. flamba says:

    The title is In Just, however the poem is from a collection of poems, the book titled:Chanson innocente
    If your teacher continues not to believe you, tell him/her that do to Modern American Poet and search E.E. Cummings there, you will find that you are correct.

  59. Neil says:

    I am reading and evaluating this poem for my junior english class. My teacher and I had a disagreement about the title, in one book available in my class the poem is titled, “In Just-” but in another book, the poem is titled “Chanson innocente”, which is french meaning “Innocente Song”, what is the actual published title of this poem?

  60. Ang says:

    u mean he WAS a good writer. He died in 1962

  61. KJ says:

    THis is an awesome poem and I think that you are an awesome writer

  62. jessica says:

    “In Just-” means injustice of spring. The balloonMan is Pan from mythology is incharge of spring. He is half man, half goat, with horns. the balloons attract the birds, the bees,etc. Pan has a reedpipe…which he uses to whistle (balloon man). Mud and puddles are good things, because they mean the spring showers have come. Eddieandbill means all little boys. “Running from marbles and piracies” is a freudian concept of the boys moving into puberty from childhood. Bettyanddisbell means all little girls. Hopscotch and jump-rope are also freudian. At the end it says “goat-footed balloonMan” is again alluding to Pan.

  63. jj tha enterprise says:

    This particular poem is very open to interpretation, but the trick i think is to figure out the intent of the author. This can be done by considering tone, mood , and usage. In the case of Cummings one must also consider word placement. For example the pairing of the children’s names (eddieandbill) could represent the inseperableness of childhood friends and give a clue as to the point-of-view this poem is meant to be looked at i.e. a child’s perspective. As for the balloonman I think his only relevance is that he is obviously deformed in some way (“the little lame ballonman”,”the goat-footed ballonman”, the queer ballonman”)and this is only important because while adults grow to be wary of those that are different the children still run to the unique balloonman. They dont care about his deformities they are only interested in his wonderful,fun ballons. This leads us to the theme of the poem. Youth as a innocent, playful and wonderful thing that can see only fun and the prospect of adventure is the theme to which i refer. Some may not be able to see this as the case but i think that with the proper perspective this becomes obvious. For instance the “mud-luscious”, and “puddle-wonderful” are oxymorons are they not. But yet to a child mud offers the prospect of an adventure,perhaps a mud-pie being baked, or a nice sliding dive into the mud pit. im sure as a child many of the readers took part in a little mud-slinging. The implications of puddle-wonderful can easily be understood when one thinks back to childhood and all the times one went puddle-jumping. As for the poems title “IN Just-” it is not reference to injustice as I see it. The first line of the poem “In just-/spring” reveals the meaning as the beggining, as in it’s ‘just’ begun or ‘just’ now, it’s ‘just’ spring its the beginning of our journey through life,and oh how easy it was when u couldn’t see the ugly of life and only the beautiful things(such as spring when evrythings in bloom.

  64. Amanda M says:

    “and eddyandbill come
    running from marbles and
    piracies and it’s
    spring ”

    “the queer
    old baloonman whistles
    far and wee”

    the words queer and gay over the years has come to what we think of as being one with the same s**. As for when this poem was made…. who knows if those words were meaning back then the same as now. Queer means odd way back… gay means happy way back when…. now adays it seems to both mean the same thing gay=gay queer=gay…. back then when the poem was made it might of meant the old belief gay=happy queer=odd.
    I think someone here just thought it would be funny to bring it up being as a gay poem…. in the new sense of gay. When I looked at it I thought hmm sounds weird I never thought of it as a s**ual nature

  65. kenzie says:

    im ding a study on this poem for reading class and its very hard to decice on a good solid message this poem is giving out. Any suggestions???

  66. Kenzie says:

    ANDREW, he isn’t relating happy to queer. As you said queer means unusual. Is there not something unusual about a man with goat feet???

  67. palmer says:

    I think this poet is crazy. Yet this must be one of his most sain poems i have seen. You say to look at this from a childs point of view and i did a i saw my self running from a ballon man with hooves.

  68. John Elliott says:

    Why did cummings isolate ‘in Just-‘ on the first line? I think to indicate clearly the main theme of this poem. Think ‘injustice’ and re-read thw whole poem. He is expressing profound regret over the fleeting nature of childhood innocence and fun. Look at the imagery from a child’s point of view, and not with an adult’s cynicism. Mudlucious and puddlewonderful, etc. are how the children feel, not grownup observers.

    I am so deeply ensconced in the ‘happy’ camp of readers of “in Just-” that I must ask again of all you cynics to sit back down again, inhale a few of the your happiest, most playful childhood memories, and only then re-read this poem.

  69. Andrew says:

    This is out of control. There is no relationship between the word queer and the word happy. Queer means unusual. Gay means happy. Queer is a word used in reference to homosexuals (i.e., gays), not in reference to people who are happy (i.e., gay). So queer in this context is unusual, or odd, not gay–the usage does not arrive until much after the publication of the poem–and at no time has queer, past or present, ever meant happy.

  70. Kasia says:

    I love this poet. He is the founder of literary cubism, which is awsome, in paintings and in writing, thanks to cummings. I’m not sure about the Satan thing, but I think the balloon man represents evil of some sort that takes away the childhood from all these children.

  71. Caren says:

    I think this poem is really fun to read, and I really don’t see it from a malicious point of view, like some of you. “In Just” is one of those poems that you can read when you’re feeling down or depressed, and it’ll cheer you up. It brings back the happy childhood memories. I give Cummings two thumbs up!

  72. Lupton says:

    I really enjoyed ‘In Just’ Its really an interesting poem…!!!

  73. Jarrod says:

    Although most of you who read this poem seem to believe that he is alluding to “Satan” or some other form of evil in the poem i believe that it is showing the defects in people which add to their kindness and personality. Although, all should remember that poetry is open to any interpretation, but this one was my way of seeing it.

  74. Matt says:

    Not dealing with smut here? have you read “she being Brand”? Sexual awakening is definately a possibility, but I wouldn’t rule out just plain old growing up either.

  75. Amanda says:

    This poem has absolutely NOTHING to do with an awakening of sex, Satan, or divergence from innocence. e. e. cumming merely paints through repetition of “and” and childhood diction the “spring” of childhood. The goat-footed ballonman is just PAN. Friggin’ A, get your minds of of the gutter! We’re not dealing with smut here, it’s e. e. cummings!

  76. Adrienne says:

    comment # 12, by erik. You must not read too much cummings. The grammar “mistakes” are his trademark and what sets him apart from every other poet and makes him so great. He writes however he sees fit to get his point across and make us think. They have nothing to do with this particular poem.

  77. Newton says:

    I love Cummings, especially this poem. Mistero, I thank you for your insightful comments on “in Just”, which has always stirred a youthful excitement in me. The images here are childish and powerful descriptives that celebrate aspects of the spring season in stark juxtaposition to adult values and responsibilities. The title/beginning expresses this contrast with the capitalization and resulting emphasis on “Just”, which devalues the mud and puddles from the adult perspective while connoting the authority in this point of view. I agree that the creepy feeling that some readers are experiencing likely finds root in the mistreatment of children and the responsibilities of adulthood perceived all too frequently in the current age. This doesn’t make the feeling any less real, because good poetry entertains subjective interpretation, but there is strong evidence in the text that the writer’s emphasis is on a celebration of youth and an appreciation of change. Let’s not forget that our little baloonman is “lame” in direct contrast to this “mud-lucious” season.

  78. jess says:

    the way the names of the children are spelled makes me realize that childrens’ names really don’t matter. a child could have a “best friend” and never know their name. is the balloon man just another nickname? a spirit of a child’s happiness? but i think above all that cummings likes people to ponder, no matter the subject.

  79. Alan Glazen says:

    It’s the title that gets me. At first I thought “in-just”, as in “injustice”, and it made sense that childhood is so fleeting, before you know it, our mud and our puddles become corrupted by the realities….that the little funny balloonman suddenly has aspects that are harsh and unpleasant, like life.

    Now that i write this—I stick with that early assessment! It’s just a shame that it happens so quickly and we grow to embrace adult perspectives, when actually, our childhood unadulterated childhood perceptions are what really count.

  80. Arman says:

    i read this poem a few years ago, and think this is one of the sweetest poems cummings wrote. There are no satans or dark secrets to be found. It’s just a simple poem about childhood, it’s rich with imagery and feelings, but i dont think we should project modern day skepticism into it.
    It’s a light and open poem, visually – by the arrangement of the text on the paper as well as through the words used,
    maybe that’s all it’s meant to be – a simple and beautiful work about his childhood

  81. Charnae says:

    I thought it was interesting that the boys were the first to reach adulthood because in that time the men had to work at a young age to provide for the family. Then the girls came dancing, much more elegant than jumping rope as they were looking to get married. It’s also interesting to note that the original title for this poem was “Chansons Innocentes”. Like William Blakes, “Songs of Innocence”. I also like how the adjective in front of the balloonman change as the children grow older. At first he is “lame” and they don’t pay attention because they are busy playing. Once they reach adolescence he is “queer” and “old” just like all teenagers have the attitude that adults are old and dont know what they are talking about. Then once he becomes the balloonMan he no longer has an adjective but is merely another Man. Maybe treated as an associate or just something that the children have accepted as a fact of life.

  82. brad says:

    the majority of these readings are peurile at best. beyond that instantaneously observable point, the first fellow to malign queer with happy (and not gay with happy–does anyone know what etymology is?) should purchase a dictionary; the remainder of you who not only allowed this egregious error in diction to go unchecked but reiterated his faulty sentiments should be shot. queer would mean unusual, or deviating from expectation–not gay, and certainly not happy. As to the readings put forth, well, i’ve seen worse, but not much worse.

  83. Dave says:

    I learned this poem in college. I’ve always thought that cummings is pointing out that the magic of childhood is a consistent thing that does not change. That the balloon man in the park is really a modern Pan, a sign that spring has arrived and the world is once again puddle wonderful.

  84. Jacob says:

    Although his poems may have a literal meaning as Michael said, the magic of his works comes from our own opinions. NOT FACT!

  85. Michael says:

    The goat-footed baloonman is Pan-the greek diety who welcomed spring by playing his pipes for the woodland creatures-just as the baloonman ushers in the season of re-birth and renewal with the children. Nothing dark, sinister or perverse here- it is a lighthearted view of an urban scene played against an ancient sylvan setting for effect.

  86. sam says:

    I really don’t believe that this poem is about Satan, and I don’t see it as that evil, either. I can see how some would see the image of a grown man with “goat feet” among children and associate it with a pedophile, but I don’t think that’s what was intended.
    The image of a queer (*happy*) old man with baloons does not seem as threatening to me as others seem to have found it – he seems to be a friendly grandfather-figure in the first 2/3 of the poem.
    When I read the last 3rd of the poem, I see the baloonman as a satyr or a kind of pied-piper. He is a mythic figure drawing children out of innocence and into adulthood, but as sad as it is to see the children grow up and distance themselves from their purity (the “far and wee” phrase has more space between words each time), growing up doesn’t have to be “evil.”
    Just because you lose innocence does not mean you descend into hell – even though adults are more exposed to sin does not make them evil. I thought this poem shows the beginning of the transition into maturity wistfully.

  87. erik says:

    in Just-
    spring when the world is mud-
    luscious the little
    lame baloonman

    whistles far and wee

    and eddyandbill come
    running from marbles and
    piracies and it’s

    when the world is puddle-wonderful

    the queer
    old baloonman whistles
    far and wee
    and bettyandisbel come dancing

    from hop-scotch and jump-rope and


    baloonMan whistles

    when the world is mud-
    -its separated for a reason mud is like when the world sucks or life sucks thats that line
    the little lame baloonman
    -little means ignorant
    -lame means like corrupt
    baloonman is significant to desires
    -like things you
    -want like when you are a little kid you want a ballon
    -you want it you need it
    whistles far and wee
    -he gets everyones attention
    -and notice the spacing that shows the time over time he gets everyone to change
    eddyandbill come running from marbles and piracies and its spring…spring is always at the margin in the peom its the beginning like birth or new life like someone explained up there…
    and the games all inocent fun
    when the world is puddle-wonderful
    puddles are usually fun like when your young you splash in puddles..and they are like filled with so much life and the all the microcosms in it and there is something to explore and so much so when the world has something to explore and is fun.
    the queer old baloonman whistles
    far and wee…notice he breaks so many rules in grammar thats what this poem is about breaking the rules set up for you as a kid and having to grow up to break out of the rules but this poem shows thats not always good.
    and bettyandisbel come dancing
    come dancing dancing you are close to another its sexual it shows how they too break out of they’re inocense as the boys did and went running to desires (the baloonman and his baloons)
    game you play when you are young from -hop-scotch and jump-rope and -the inocese being showed
    as it is originally showed its a hill going down to the devil or pan going down to hell falling from inocense to sin
    spring again coming out to the margin being showed for the third time these are like the three stages in life
    young mature and old or also three seasons summer spring (the beginning) and fall no winter that represents death he doesnt show the stage of death
    again the devil or pan being what brings and breaks down inocense with desire like they do in life they have so many rules and things that you should have or you should be and it forces you to conform and change and do anything to be the prettiest girl or the most popular guy and that takes away your inocese once your making sins to get your status and rank in this society
    baloonMan whistles
    baloonMan Man capitalized can show change from the first time to the last and final or can show the horns never thought of that…
    ^this being the going down to hell after that change because you have no inocense but sin and are now condemed…
    the title can it could be for “unjust” or also connect spring to just with the dash after just so its JUST-in spring just in the beggining when you reseve life are you really and truely free and happy and inocent.

  88. Ed says:

    I agree witih “Mistero,” people who see the balloonMan as sexual predator are bringing their own baggage to the poem. The poem celebrates, I think, leaving childish play behind. Celebrates the transition into the next stage of life and its sexual awakening. The children, after all, come running quite happily. The association with spring — traditionally “THE” season to fall in love (haven’t you ever seen Bambi?) makes the point clear. Some American holy-rollers might consider sexual awakening evil, but I do not think e.e. cummings agrees.

  89. Megan Hope says:

    It is possible that this poem is not creepy, but in a way showing how the maturity of children happens. It is only the parents that are fearful of their child be led astray by some Pied Piper or Mythological god, Pan. But how I see it, is that Pan, being a god of fertility, and as E. E. Cummings quite often wrote about sex, that this poem is the coming of age where in children are no longer playing their games, but rather are swept away into adult hood. It could be said that the beginning of the poem “in Just-spring” maybe alluding to the beginning of a child’s life (as in the spring of their exsistence), but if looked at how short our child hood is, the “in Just-spring” can be viewed as the spring of life, and that then falls into the loss of innocence.

  90. Hoang Nguyen says:

    First off, remember that this poem was published in 1923. The word queer does not mean gay but happy. Anyways, I’m not an expert on poems, but I think the poem relays a simple idea; growin up from the point of a view of one who has. To me understanding the poem was easiest and what I think cummings wants his reader to do is look at it from our perpective, an adult. 1st group of word, a person looking back when he is struggling in life or having difficulties. We all been there when we wish we were young again, life was simpiliar back then. 2nd group, like our memory of the past, especially our childhood, the memory or short and vague. Therefore cummings groups the word so closely together. Last the as we realize that its only a memory, we are an adult now (balloonMan); time of innocence and youth are “far and wee”.

  91. Almatari Undomiel says:

    Mudlucious the little lame ballonman? he’s queer? what a lovely dayin the park for a queer old ballonman!!!!

  92. Mistero says:

    Seeing an image of Satan in Cummings’ poem astonishes me. I’ve been reading and teaching “in Just-” since the early 1960’s. I think that the image of the lame balloonman suggests the same sort of thing to everyone — a figure who draws children out a world where children’s games such as marbles, playing pirates, hopscotch, and jumprope. I also think most of my students over the years have identified the “balloonMan” with the half-goat, half-man satyrs of classical mythology. The satyrs (and their female equivalents, the nymphs) are emblematic in mythology of human sexuality, so most readers in the past would have seen a satyr figure and would have interpeted the lure of the “balloonMan” as the inevitable awakening of sexuality in young people. After all, isn’t spring almost always associated with love, birth, new life, and so forth. Perhaps we have heard too many fundamentalists talking about images of Satan with cloven feet, or perhaps we have heard too many stories on the news about sexual predators and child pornographers. Perhaps, from the point of view of an adult, seeing children come of age is something common which happens everywhere (“far and wee”) and which is a little scary and uncontrollable. I fear that readers of Cummings’ poem who see Satan or a sex predator trying to lead children astray are pushing today’s fears into a poem which really is saying something rather innocent, that is, that every season a whole new generation of children grow up and leave lucious mud and wonderful puddles behind.

  93. David says:

    cummings is amazing. The form of the poem makes me think of the children on swings as does the placement of far and wee, i can see the swings go up and down. ITs amazing I love Cummings.

  94. Sarah says:

    Okay, for starters the balloonMan can be representitive of Satan or Pan, he can also be a Pied Piper figure. The whistling “far and wee” reminds us of the Pied Piper calling out to the children and leading them away. Pan also plays a pipe, more well known as Panpipes and he is also goatfooted. The poem also shows us that the balloonMan has horns. Look at how ee cummings spells his name, balloonMan, the ‘M’ gives the horn image. It is clear that at first the children don’t know that he is leading them out of innocence, by the time they see his true nature it is too late. The main reason why the balloonMan is so sinister is because he is taking the children away in the spring of thier lives, naturally thier innocence is lost later on in the metapharical ‘autumn’. I love this poem and the chills it sends up my spine.

  95. Benjamin says:

    Cummings is a master of syntax. Their should be a descending line seperation between “and”- “the”- “goat-footed” to stress the evil that lurks within humans. Also the capitalization of balloonMan is one that catches the eye and causes a disassociation between this individual sinner and a harmless title of “balloon man.” I will never get tired of this poem.

  96. Brittany Shupe says:

    The word goat-footed is an allusion to Pan and not Satan.

  97. Sneha Shetty says:

    It talks of the transition of childhood.There is a soothing feeling of gladness when the children happily come out to play at the whistle of the balloonman.But cummings definately gives us a creepy feeling when he says that the balloonman is “goatfooted”.

  98. Mary Brady says:

    Possibly the creepiest poem I have ever read. I have read it a few times now, and no matter how much I brace myself for it, all the hairs on my arms stand up, and shivers run up and down my spine.

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