Jehovah buried,Satan dead,
do fearers worship Much and Quick;
badness not being felt as bad,
itself thinks goodness what is meek;
obey says toc,submit says tic,
Eternity’s a Five Year Plan:
if Joy with Pain shall hand in hock
who dares to call himself a man?

go dreamless knaves on Shadows fed,
your Harry’s Tom,your Tom is Dick;
while Gadgets murder squack and add,
the cult of Same is all the chic;
by instruments,both span and spic,
are justly measured Spic and Span:
to kiss the mike if Jew turn kike
who dares to call himself a man?

loudly for Truth have liars pled,click;
where Boobs are holy,poets mad,
illustrious punks of Progress shriek;
when Souls are outlawed,Hearts are sick,
Hearts being sick,Minds nothing can:
if Hate’s a game and Love’s a fuck
who dares to call himself a man?

King Christ,this world is all aleak;
and lifepreservers there are none:
and waves which only He may walk
Who dares to call Himself a man.

19 Comments

  1. Dr.C.Anna Latha Devi says:

    The poem Jehovah Buried reveals the spiritual void prevalent in the modern world. As Man has become materialistic and slave to machines he has no time for religious activities and spirituality. Hence he has buried God.Absence of God and satan would lead to
    absence of religion. Jesus is the Saviour and through Him is salvation.
    nce of religion

  2. Xandy says:

    I think the line who dares to call himself a man in each end of the stanzas implies that man was called a man but cannot act as a man or cannot act as awhat he should be when he was made by God.

  3. Brandon says:

    I see the poem as an attack on the formalities and rules of Christianity. Cummings starts by saying “Jehovah buried, Satan dead”, meaning we must rely on ourselves for our answers. Without divine guidance people get afraid and worship any and everything they can (“Much and Quick”). The rest of the first section is questioning how little power over our lives we have. Joy and Pain (heaven and hell) hang in hock, waiting to be sold to us by our religious leaders. With so little control who dares to call himself a man?

    The second section starts with “go dreamless knaves on shadows fed” which refers to the “fearers” of the previous section who feed their fears with shadows. They also dull their senses with machines or “gadgets” that “murder squawk and add” (guns, tvs, and calculators). This leads them to conform with the “cult of Same”. This leads them to hate those who do not join with them in their cult (turns Jew into kike). Agian how dow these people call themselves men?

    The same people from stanza two are talked about in stanza three by calling them liars and slaves. They seek truth and freedom but all they aer willing to do is click their heels and wish. Cummings also brings up the puritanical views christianity has on the femail form, but at the same time his choice of the word “Boobs” points out the silliness of it. “when Souls are outlawed, Hearts are sick,” is not a call for more religion in society, it is a call for less strict spirituality. You have to remember that Cummings was a Unitarian, which is far less restrictive in how you behave and worship. To him strict religious rules outlaw personal choice, and make you deeny who you are in soul, heart and mind. This all leaves you fully conformed into your religious team, and set to hate other teams (“Hate’s a game”). How love is nothing more than procreation to build up your team. Back comes the question that mocks this empty, choiceless live. Who dares to call himself a man?

    The final stanza finishes the poem with a satirical stab at the people described above. He refers Christ as a King, a powerful parent figure who is supposed to fix all our problems. Unitarians believe in a singular god instead of the Trinity, and do not believe in the divinity of Jesus. This makes the King title all the more telling. Also notice that the last line doesn’t have a question mark. This is because it is part of the previous line and not a question. In the “and waves wich only He may walk” line Cummings isn’t referring to Christ, he is referring to someone who dares to call himself a man. So the only person able to get over the metaphorical waves are people who are willing to think for themselves.

  4. Brandon Perdue says:

    There are two different forms of this poems that I have read. The one already posted (I’ll call that p1) and the one I prefer (called p2). The first difference is that in p2 the the word “hand” is changed to “hang” in the “if Joy with Pain shall hang in hock” line from the first section. To me this make more sense and clears up the meaning of the poem. The other difference is that in p2 the line “their heels for Freedom slaves will click;” is added after the “loudly for Truth have liars pled,” line. That added line is why I think p2 is the correct version, because it make the line count 8, 8, 8, 4 instead of 8, 8, 7, 4.

  5. Nathan Thoune says:

    He uses all lower cases in this poem. That shows his irreeverence for God. God with a small g would be the Unitarian god. His dad was a Unitarian minister. Jesus is not God and our savior in unitarianism. So I’m having trouble seeing this poem as being in favor of spirituality.

  6. Amanda says:

    I think that this poem is saying something about how we are losing our humanity and we are ruled by money. By the way, to whoever posted last, WWII wasn’t until 1939. 1933 was the Great Depression.

  7. Johnny says:

    what a lot of you are missing is when this poem was written. cummings wrote this around 1933 when ww2 was going on. “fearers” is, in a way, refering to the “führers” of the time, hitler and stallin. “worshiping much and quick” was EE’s way of saying that hitler wanted it all and now. “to kiss the mike if Jew turn kike” refers to the rise of anti-semitism. “eternity’s a 5 year plan” is refering to stalin’s 5 year plan. “hate’s a game, Love’s a fuck” may be refering to how soldiers of the SS would be allowed any woman they wanted. if they got the woman pregnant, then they might be awarded a medal for spreading the genes of the perfect race.

    that’s about all i have.

  8. Chris says:

    “Jahova” starts with an I…Correct? I’m not religious, I don’t go to church, I don’t even beleive in god, but I do like Indiana Jones. ;P

  9. Indie Lux says:

    “But know this, that in the last days critical times hard to deal with will be here. For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, self-assuming, haughty, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, disloyal, having no natural affection, not open to any agreement, slanderers, without self-control,fierce, without love of goodness, betrayers, headstrong, puffed up with pride, lovers of pleasures reather than lovers of God … wicked men and impostors will advance from bad to worse, misleading and being mislead.” 2 Timothy 3:1-4, 13

  10. maureen says:

    I think Cummings is really talking not just about lost religion but about lost christianity and lost humanity. His point is not about the hypocrisy of the church; his premise, in fact, is that popular culture has abandoned God (“Jehovah buried, Satan dead,”). The problem is that without God, society’s view of man is not what man is created to be. In the last stanza, the poet calls to Jesus Christ as the only one who can save, the only perfect human.

    Jehovah buried, Satan dead,
    (since no one worships God anymore)
    do fearers worship Much and Quick;
    (people just want more faster)
    badness not being felt as bad,
    (sin is no longer a problem; it’s just “mistakes”)
    itself thinks goodness what is meek;
    (as long as things don’t impose on anyone else, they’re considered ok)
    obey says toc, submit says tic,
    (as time goes on, there’s more and more pressure to conform)
    Eternity’s a Five Year Plan:
    (no one thinks long-term)
    if Joy with Pain shall hand in hock
    (if temporary happiness always brings pain in society)
    who dares to call himself a man?
    (no one is really human anymore, as humans are supposed to be)

    go dreamless knaves on Shadows fed,
    (sin is everywhere; we feed on it)
    your Harry’s Tom,your Tom is Dick;
    (everyone is the same)
    while Gadgets murder squack and add,
    (machines do everything for us now)
    the cult of Same is all the chic;
    (everyone is supposed to conform)
    by instruments, both span and spic,
    are justly measured Spic and Span:
    (our machines are the only brains we have left)
    to kiss the mike if Jew turn kike
    who dares to call himself a man?
    (everyone is afraid to be individual)

    loudly for Truth have liars pled,click;
    (everybody wants the truth, but nobody has it)
    where Boobs are holy, poets mad,
    (foolishness is revered, thinkers are disregarded)
    illustrious punks of Progress shriek;
    (everyone thinks that only new ideas have value)
    when Souls are outlawed, Hearts are sick,
    (if no one is supposed to go to God, people are still spiritually lost)
    Hearts being sick, Minds nothing can:
    (when our spirits aren’t working, we are blind to reality)
    if Hate’s a game and Love’s a fuck
    (we have become flippant about the most serious things)
    who dares to call himself a man?
    (we’re afraid to be who we’re made to be)

    King Christ, this world is all aleak;
    (calling to Jesus, the world needs help)
    and lifepreservers there are none:
    (and no one can save themselves)
    and waves which only He may walk
    (He, however, can save everyone and doesn’t need saving; He’s the Son of God)
    Who dares to call Himself a man.
    (He was the uncorrupted man, He wasn’t afraid to go against the grain, and most of all, He was willing to become a man even though He is God)

    In essence, this poem laments the fall of the world and prays for Christ’s redemption.

  11. Eric says:

    To Jasmine, i did read it over after considering what you said and you were right. His views on the world are that everything good is being replaced with things of pleasure. Take notice of how everything he mentions has a place in todays society as “in.” We, as a society, are completely dumb to the ways of yesterday, and any idea of “good” is frowned upon, as the idea “wrong” is dumbed down and looked upon as acceptable.

  12. Brian Kirn says:

    Also the line “and loves a fuck”. I think he means that love has become not a passionate bond between 2 people but a one night stand.

  13. Brian Kirn says:

    I am a 16 yr old and agree with everyone. Also in the line “your Harry’s Tom, your Tom’s Dick” i think he is talking of a loss of individuality in our society. Also there is a line missing. After,”Loudly for truth have liars plead”, it should read, “their heels for freedom slaves will click”.

  14. Abinadi says:

    i like this poem, im only 15 and in high school but i believe that the person who commented “The poem means the rate of which our society is growing and changing is beyond our control. Cummings was smart enough to see that.the values of todays society are changing for the worst” is right.I am mormon and mormons live by what are nowadays called morals of yesterday, we believe in modest and chastity but i love this poem because E.E. Cummings is a man of modesty and virtue.

    p.s. im using this poem for an english project. gonna make my class think

  15. Chanel says:

    I pretty much agree with all of you, and think that this is like losing the religion that you once believed in.

  16. Jasmine says:

    I think that the meaning of this poem is pretty oblious. The poem means the rate of which our society is growing and changing is beyond our control. Cummings was smart enough to see that.the values of todays society are changing for the worst. With this in mind, read the poem again and see if you understand what I mean.

  17. Anonymous says:

    I think Cummings is talking about the rise of materialism in place of religion (thus “do fearers worship Much and Quick” and “badness not being felt as bad”). Just a guess.

  18. Brittany says:

    it appears to me that cummings was refering to the hypocrisy of organized religion and that in the end we are damned no matter what we believe

  19. andrea daniel says:

    it appears that cummings is commenting on the loss of belief in a spritual way, and was replaced by the need for the bigger better.

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