In Just By E. E. Cummings: The lesson is “in Just” by E E Cummings which will let you know the poet’s writing style and background. His poems are engaging and most memorable that leave their essence on our hearts. The poem is about one of the most lovable seasons- Spring. The poet writes that the capitalisation of words, intent, and word spacing leaves a mark on us. In this poem, we will be analysing major themes, rebirth to the new season, and the innocence it brings along.
Students can also check the English Summary to revise with them during exam preparation.
What To Explore More?
- Summary of In Just By E. E. Cummings
- In Just By E. E. Cummings – Poem Structure
- Different Poetic Techniques
- Analysing “in Just”
Summary of In Just By E. E. Cummings
Through “in just”, you will view different spring phases when winter melts; it leaves mud everywhere around us. It is like a rebirth to children’s laughter in the streets as they are seen playing. The description begins with the world being mud-luscious. There are puddles of water all around, and people are celebrating this season coming out of their homes.
You will find a glimpse of a balloon man whistling in the streets and ends with a conclusion to a man continuous his whistling, and children are coming out by the side of a whistling man.
However, there is an irony in the moods of small children and an older man. Their experiences are opposite and contrasting as, on one side, children are enjoying this reborn period, but older adults are in painful times in their lives. It has represented their contrasting tragic picture. In all, it is a delightful moody poem.
In Just By E. E. Cummings Poem Structure
A 24 lines poem is contained within a stanza by E E Cummings which describes delighted feels in the speaker’s hearts. This poem clearly depicts the writing style and literary background. The way he writes the poem says the individualistic and unique style of presenting a poem with emotions.
Syntax of “in Just” has perfect punctuation, spelling, form, and reality that a traditional poem should have. It precisely describes cummings’ work in it with simplicity. The best part is the spacing that Cummings has used within his poem and the removal of spacing from different words. Some such examples can be seen through the word “eddieandbill.” He used lowercase letters at the starting of a line, have interrupted sentences in between, and changed spacing within syntax.
The syntax that Cummings prefers to write his poems is unique from others so that you have put your focus on every word and get its meaning. It becomes crucial to read every word and understand it. Even you have to pay for your centre of attention to punctuation marks.
Coming to the rhyme scheme, the poet has surely written “in Just” in free verse. He has tried to incorporate new trends through this poem. Though he had not followed any perfect structure for rhyme, he has definitely put in a good structure in it.
Poet has introduced repetition of the word “spring.” He wants the reader to feel like they are enjoying the season along with him.
Different Poetic Techniques
Though there is no well-structured poem as written by EE Cummings, still, it has the power to reveal our emotions and feelings. There are a few words that have touched our hearts and few poetic techniques used throughout.
In one case, a poet in describing a child happy to move outside and play in springs. But on another side, he is describing the pain of the older man and their painful times. It is the biggest irony we can ever get.
We can even spot other poetic techniques that include enjambment, alliteration, juxtaposition, and allusion. Here Juxtaposition is the contrast behaviour as said before with irony. The feelings of a child and an older adult are in contrast to each other. This is a very highlighting feature.
The point of this contrast is usually defined to bring differences between the feelings of the two. One such example is seen through balloon man and children. Children are innocent, but the balloon man has shown his drunken behaviour.
Cummings commonly uses enjambment in his poem. The technique comes when a poet cuts off a line before ending or having a stopping point. Through such techniques, a reader is forcefully moved down to read the next line. You can view this feature of enjambment in lines five and six and a pair of eleven and twelve.
Comming to alliteration, alliteration is seen when two words starting with the same alphabet are placed close to each other. Or simply, we can say words placed in succession. One such example is seen through “in Just”- by E. E. Cummings is luscious the little/lame in line three and line four. One more example is seen in line twelve and line thirteen, that is “whistles” and “wee”.
As the word says, allusion has a lifelong impact on our minds; here, the example is a balloon man having the feet of a goat. It is a way man gets connected with mythology.
Analysing “in Just”
Let us understand and analyse the entire poem sentence by sentence through the below pattern:
Describing Lines 1-5
spring when the world is mud-
luscious the little
lame balloon man
whistles far and wee”
As the first line says, it is spring season, and the entire world is guzzled with it. Then the speaker is saying it is mud everywhere. The best part of these lines is the word “lame balloon man”. Here lame is likely referring to hobbling. For a reader to slow his pace, it is important to incorporate a line with good space, and Cummings has efficiently used it. The best part is the non-capitalisation of words in these lines. He adds that the old balloon man is moving through the landscape by whistling, and the spaces describe the distance that the whistle of this man travels.
Describing Lines 6-9
“and eddieandbill come
running from marbles and
pirates and it’s
With lines 6-9, the poet introduces some more characters- “bill” and “Eddie”. However, there is no use of spaces between the names of these two characters. The fact is completely different as there is either a single space between two words or no space at all. However, no space to describe the excitement that the speaker wants to incorporate and how he is talking quickly for the same.
Lines seven and eight says that the two boys Eddie and bill, are running and playing marbles. They both profess to be pirates. Now the last line among these is line number 9 it repetition saying it’s the spring season. This way, the speaker wants to convey the importance of time and set in a year to the reader. However, the speaker himself is delighted over the changing season.
Describing Lines 10-15
“When the world is puddle-wonderful
old balloon man whistles
far and wee
and bettyandisbel come dancing
from hop-scotch and jump-rope and”
Before this, the speaker conveyed the world to be full of mud, but now he finds puddle all-around. Just like Cummings tried to enter mud-luscious, he entered world puddle-wonderful. These words depict the excitement, fun, and feelings of the speaker over the new season.
Here again, comes the balloon man who is trying hard to convince children through his whistle. New characters- “Betty” and “Isbel” approach him by dancing. The tune of his music attracts them, but unlike Bill and Eddie, these two characters are busy with “hop-scotch” and “jump-rope”.
Describing Lines 16-24
In these final lines, Cummings is again repeating; it’s the spring season. However, the way he represents margin, indent, and spaces say a lot about the message he wants to convey. When he says it’s spring, it shows his good mood and excitement for this season. The reader will know his mood precisely after reading them.
However, in the following lines, he co-relates balloon man being goat-footed. The fact is, Cummings want to bring the truth of methodology behind the satyr. Speaker is trying to bring up a menacing image of Satyr as they feel enjoyment in drinking and mischief. Satyr wants kids to run by his sides and trying to convince them. But in the poem “in-just” by E. E. Cummings, he hasn’t used any punctuation at the end. With this, surely the poet wants to convey that Children are running by the Balloon man’s side, and he continues to whistle.
However, the other best part is the poem’s ending, where Cummings tried to convey never-ending possibilities that can happen. But he hasn’t conveyed them through his poem. This suspense is the reason why everyone loves his poetic writing style.