The Meaning of Patriotism in “next to of course god america i” by E.E. Cummings
E.E. Cummings sonnet “next to of course god america i” is one of his many poems expressing his views on war and patriotism. In the many biographies written about him, every author makes it a big point to talk about his time served during World War I. Learning about his past helps give insight into why he wrote many books and poems on war.
Cummings was an interesting writer who experimented with poetic form and language to create his own style of poetry. He was born into a puritan family in 1894. As a young child he began writing poetry, between the ages of eight and twenty-two he wrote a poem a day. During these years, he played around with vocabulary and often made up words of his own to use inside his poems and sonnets. In 1917, during the First World War, he volunteered for the Norton-Harjes ambulance service in France. While in France, he and a friend wrote letters to family back home that were full of provocative comments. His goal was to outwit French censors but failed. He was thrown into a detention camp on charges of treason (Contemporary Authors Online).
After being released from the detention camp and coming back to America, Cummings published his first book The Enormous Room and a year later published his first collection of poems called Tulips and Chimneys. The publisher cut many poems out of this book but they were published at a later date. In many of his poems he talked about his thoughts on America and war. His poems showed
his unique ability to use punctuation to dignify the meaning of certain words or lines as well as his unique vocabulary. Cummings did not give most of his poems or sonnets titles so when published; the first line became the title (Contemporary Authors Online).
Cummings poem, “next to of course god america i” is one of his unnamed sonnets. In this poem Cummings relies on his unique writing abilities by having two personas who both let...