Therefore, it makes the poem appear to be a patriotic piece of literature. However, a deeper analysis of this poem demonstrates that perhaps the real reason E. E. Cummings wrote this poem was to express his negative opinions of patriotism and of the United States involvement in war. The poem starts with the line “next to of course god america I” which when read from the patriot's point of view means that he is prioritizing his love for America after God before anything even himself (1). However, the fact that God and America are not capitalized is not a mistake. The words God and America have been purposedly left that way by Cummings in order to emphazise the patriot's ignorance in his nationalistic statement that one should put his country first before himself.
He doesn't see the point of going over to another country and fighting for a piece of land. Equally Sassoon feels the same. However, Brooke feels very different about the state and attitude of war. "Under an English heaven" This tells us Brooke declares his love for England and suggests England shall win the war. He is very open in agreeing with ... ... middle of paper ... ...t, stark and delivers a message.
E.E. Cummings poem “next to of course god America i” can be interpreted, on the surface, as a stark criticism of patriotism in general. However, he is not just criticizing patriotism, but, criticizing blind patriotism and abusing blind patriotism to further an agenda. The poem itself is a reflection of the picturesque American life portrayed in snap shots of patriotic songs and colloquialisms that are indicative to American life. These snap shots help highlight how excessive patriotism begins and how it can be overwhelming.
This is a common fixture of E.E. Cummings’ works, and it has been speculated that such a choice was a mark of humility on Cummings’ part in order to show that the authority of the poet isn’t as important as the words themselves. However, in this case it seems that Cummings has manipulated the continued use of the lowercase “i” in order to bring forth the only word that does happen to be capitalized: Humanity. The noticeable emphasis that this places on the word immediately pulls the word from its su... ... middle of paper ... ...ings felt disgust for those on the home front who willfully or stupidly believed government propaganda and whatever patriotic, racial, or ideological excuses were offered for war” (Murphy xiv). Due to these events of World War I, and Cummings’ further pursuit to write his experiences into what would become the Enormous Room, Cummings was “introduced [to] themes that Cummings would pursue throughout his career: the individual against society, against government, and against all forms of authority.” (“Cummings, E(dward) E(stlin)”, par.
“Next to of course god america i” is a poem by E. E. Cummings that satirizes the arrogant adamancy with which politicians speak of patriotism in order to fabricate an idealistic sense of national pride. Saturated with uncommon poetic practices, Cummings exploits unconventional syntax, lack of punctuation, and an overall rushed, seemingly nonsensical form of writing to emphasize the satirical tone of the poem and to poke fun at the absurdity of the lengths to which patriotism goes. “Next to of course god america i” toys with diction, syntax, punctuation, and form in a way that makes reading the poem difficult, much the same way as Cummings finds it difficult to understand the message about patriotism the speaker in the first stanza, a politician, is giving. For example, being fourteen lines in length, the poem can be defined as a sonnet, a form usually associated with love poems. Cummings, however, tweaks the sonnet, shaping it into two stanzas of unequal length instead of three quatrains followed by a couplet.
The poem has a remorseful theme of soldiers who deserve more respect for sacrificing their lives to protect their country, and the people who remain to cope and grieve after the loss of the soldiers. The tone, imagery, and mood of the poem amalgamate very well to create a poem that moves readers emotionally and illustrates Owen’s feelings toward the war. Before going into the analysis of the poem, some background on Wilfred Owen may be helpful in understanding the meanings behind his poem. Owen did not want to enlist due to religious convictions. He came from an extremely Christian background that made his views on war conflict with his patriotic views, but British propaganda also made him feel obliged to join the military and defend his country (War Poetry).