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

Analysis, meaning and summary of e.e. cummings's poem (Me up at does)


  1. maureen says:

    I would agree that even though the narrator is a human, the mouse’s perspective is still communicated. After all, from a human perspective no one would know what the mouse is saying. I also think that the rearranged word order communicates the chaotic state of the dying mouse’s mind, especially since it’s poisoned and not just trapped.

  2. Ashley E. age:18 says:

    I think this poem is about how during the great depression there were a lot of suicides and basically the mouse is saying “If you lost your money your job and everything that means somthing to you. wouldnt you do the same as me which is kill myself” and hes asking the “bigger” people of society that question.

  3. Donna says:

    The theme of human alienation in Me up at does, is one we cannot deny. Many times, we see others around us dying slowly, doing things that will lead to their doom and we actually encourage these acts by ” providing cheese” through drugs, encouragement , envying them and hating them. Finally when their death comes, we feel a deep sorrow and think “what could i have done better”. Undeniably the personna has a deep sense of regret at the end. And this is evident in the abrupt end on the “imagined ” words of the mouse. The words resound and resound in the personna and the reader’s head. I believe this poem is a call to all races, nations and ppl in different neighbourhoods. DOnt wait till the shunned and neglected are about to die before you reflect on sorrow and what you could have done. NOw is the time to smile at someone, to speak to them about their misdeeds and to show them that Jesus is the savior. A few weeks ago, a boy in my college died. He was found with stabs and shots aallover him. Drugs maybe, who knows but “what had he done that we wouldnt have done” maybe if we didnt live in such an alienated society and we got to know each other.maybe then and just maybe if oneday i had spoken to Ricky about Jesus Christ and invited him to church. Maybe then we wouldnt be staring down at the haunting eyes on the bereavment T-shirt that students wear, the shirt in which the face of ricky asks..”what have i done that you wouldnt have”

  4. diyako says:

    when you are reading a poem by cumming more than any thing you should be careful about the form.I don’t want to influnce other’s viwes but I do care the just words in capitale Me Stare What

  5. Alicia says:

    Like a lot of you, I agree that Cummings is commenting on social classes. I think he is raising the question who are we to think we’re better than anyone else? Whether it be because of social classes or skin color (or even species), we are all more alike than what we may think. If we were that mouse we would have taken the cheese just like he did, so why is it up to us to play god and decides who lives and who dies? Or for that matter, who is more superior?

    I’m just having trouble interepreting the line “Me up at does.” Any ideas?

  6. John says:

    This poem is a first person narrative. The narrator has poisoned a mouse. The mouse is still alive and staring at the narrator through a crack in the floor. The mouse is quiet but seems, to the narrator, to be asking, “What have i done that you wouldn’t have”.


    This poem is very deep in the sense that I think it is talking about what you accomplish in life, stuff that NO one else has the courage to.

  8. Britt says:

    this poem is really supposed to be looked at from the mouses view, you can rearrange the poem to be spoken from the mouse itself.

  9. gemma says:

    the poem me upat does is great, i read so many poems and this just stood out. who are we to judge who or what dies and lives. or am i reading to much into it coz i’m a artist. poem is just great.

  10. amana says:

    sometimes nothing is said, that is exactly what he wants to bring accross, we stare passively, whilst doing nothing. we are essentially all poison, we like to stare at the death of others, not realizing we are dying too.

  11. Sarah says:

    cummings has been my favorite poet since I was about 7 and I have his complete works but have just recently discovered this poem. It affected me a lot. I have been a vegetarian all my life and may have a particular sensitivity toward animals, but this poem made me think of pests, and of animals people eat, and of social classes. It seems to me that if we can keep this poem in mind at all times and live by it, we can be truly sensitive souls. There are people starving and people stealing and people we look down on who are the lower classes of society but ultimately we all want the same things: to survive, and the best for our offspring. When it comes down to survival every person is equal, we all want the same things.

  12. David says:

    My interpretation would be that in the face of death we never exactly know what to do… no matter what life form it is… in this case a mouse

  13. bill says:

    acid wasnt discovered till after he wrote this and he was pretty old.

  14. Joe says:

    It’s an interesting poem. There’s more to it than meets the eye. The mouse is poisoned, not dead. But it will die soon. I think cummings is thinking about, how could someone kill another thing. Be it a mouse. But it could go farther than that. I think the poem is about indifference to life. How we can so easily kill something else.

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

  15. Lance says:

    I think that Cummings is trying to tell us about societies social classes and how people are so cruel to others.

  16. Anthony says:

    Certain drugs can stimulate the imagination. I wonder if the acid permanetly altered his though processes…

  17. antris says:

    well even if he is on acid, he still produced something worth reading and that has been thought provoking. I’d like to see anyone write poetry like this while drugged.

  18. Chris says:

    He is on acid and many other drugs i read up on him during his teen life.

  19. yan says:

    personally i think the poem is about us looking down on a helpless creature.. we are so aggravated by this tiny thing living in our house but the mouse asks us “if you were me, what would you do?”… we wouldnt do anything differently… we all have to live, no matter how small we are.

  20. Marc says:

    It just goes to show how distilled Cummings can write. in his writing I saw a much more fatalistic view. To me, the mouse seems to be questioning social classes. Even more so, the mouse seems to despair at the hand it was dealt.

    I find it amazing that so many interpretations can be wrought from so few words.

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