Me up at does
out of the floor
quietly Stare
a poisoned mouse

still who alive
is asking What
have i done that
You wouldn’t have

32 Comments

  1. Ephraim Naas says:

    Almost identical to a white mans burden… if in my shoes, you would have fallen to the same actions and fate as I.

  2. Vincent Shepherd says:

    He gains our interest of reading this poem over and over trying to make sence of his words. We want to understand and find his message eventhough the words are mixed up.

  3. Beth says:

    Try taking the words and rearranging them into one or two sentences. It takes some effort, but this process can help with the understanding of his poem. Also look at the words he chose to capitalize. Besides that, this poem is a commentary on hypocrisy, how we judge others when they are only trying to survive. We all have a survival instinct, yet how quickly we forget. I love how the poet has distilled the very essence of what it means to be a hypocrite.

  4. Stanley Greenstein says:

    I see considerable discussion about the last line of the poem. But what about the first line? It seems to me that the first line is the moment when the mouse gets poisoned, and loses all ability to use intelligible language. In this way, it contrasts with the profundity of the end. As he lies dying, the mouse regains his ability to speak, and says, in brief, ‘I have no need to justify my life.’

  5. Samane says:

    I think the poet is speaking throgh the mouth of a criminal. May be in war , in the street or any other place he had killed sb, unintetionally, That person is sad all the time and there is astorm at his mind, and even poisening a mouse makes him confused and distressed.

  6. roger says:

    this gives a clear indication of the complete pattern of thought that e.e. cummings had. to me this showed a hold of the full days of experience in a short moment of time. and also of the competition that took place during some of the stages of any particlar day.

  7. mike says:

    never have i read something so boring in my life

  8. Emily says:

    i belive that this peom is very awsome, i think that thoughts who do not understand his writing will learn more about him if you read more of this work. i enjoy every bit of what he has to offer in his writing.

  9. Will says:

    The analysis and comments of this poem is one of my assignments of school.It’s rather difficult for a Chinese college student ,like me, to understand it.
    It is your website that helps me make it!

  10. Craig says:

    So simple a poem and at the same time so deep and so emotionally wrenching. Edgarian in nature, it points a finger straight out of the page at your face and makes you examine yourself. The focus of this poem can be summed up in one word: Hypocracy. No further explanation be needed. The world is full of it, and Cummings did an amazing job getting his point across in a way that was at the same time simple, moving, cutting, intelligent and artistic.

  11. Carmine says:

    The poem, i think, is essentially about the universality of human experience in the sense that we all feel subjected at some point in our lives. ‘What have i done that you wouldn’t have?’ is the heart of the poem – across species, class, culture, nationality, religion & etc. it must be remembered that none of us want to be poisoned.

  12. clayton perry says:

    i think people overanalyze. could it be that he saw a mouse after eating rat poison? one thing that people like to do is overanalyze what famous people say as if they’re the smartest person in the world. this could have been a scribbling on a napkin somewhere when that thought popped in his head. dont get me wrong, i know it could represent a higher society and suffering and such and so-on, but you sometimes you have to realize that it may mean nothing. this happened a lot with the works and lyrics of Bob Dylan. he said that he just wrote down stories in his head or thought or whatever, and that people overanalyzed and made up their own stories with deep deep hidden backgrounds and messages that needed to be literarily decoded. It could be either. It’s just that some people find famous people in such high regard that they hold their words as moe than they may be, because, after all, ee cumings was more or less just like you and I. Don’t delve too deep people. Sometimes it’s necessary, but not always.

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