R-P-O-P-H-E-S-S-a-G-R Essay

679 WordsAug 9, 20123 Pages
In the free verse poem “r-p-o-p-h-e-s-s-a-g-r” E. E. Cummings uses a variety of techniques in order to create a replica of a grasshopper’s random movements. Through the use of capitalization, punctuation, and spacing Cumming constructs a poem that plays with language. The poem starts off with a rearrangement of the word grasshopper with each letter separated by a dash mark. This particular arrangement brings to life the random movements that a grasshopper would make if it were disoriented and jumping around on a keyboard. Then, Cummings uses parentheses to break up the statement “as we look” and then disregards proper spacing techniques to spell out “up now gath” which turns into “gathering” after the second time that the word grasshopper is written. This time the word grasshopper is written all in capital letters, which traditionally represents something of importance in the modern English language. The grasshopper attempting to properly spell its name in all capital letters could signify the fact that he is now jumping on the keyboard with more force in order to gain the attention of someone or of something. The way in which Cummings as arranged these words provides a gradual clarification of his overall meaning. At first, the poem seems to consist of a bunch of random letters and punctuation, but after a few times of reading it the code in which this poem is written becomes more recognizable. The third time the word grasshopper is written is in alternating capital and lowercase letters, “gRrEaPsPhOs”. This particular format has the letters of grasshopper almost correctly spelt out if you first look a the lowercase letters from left to right, and then the capital letters from right to left. It is almost as if the grasshopper has gained the attention of the person or object that it had indented, but is still failing in its attempts to clearly get the specific

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