Interpretative Analysis of E.E. Cummings's poem “next to of course god america i”

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The poem “next to of course god america i” written by E.E. Cummings is a poem based on nationalism of America by its patriotic people and what they are capable of sacrificing for it. This interpretation is drawn from the fact that the narrator of the poem seems to be a cheerful patriot who praises America several times throughout the poem and seems to be trying to motivate the reader to agree with what he says. Although the poem is mostly about nationalism and serving your country by blindly obeying you patriotic and nationalistic feelings for the United States there is a sense of proudness to it all. 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. In the second line of the poem the patriot expresses the love for his country and uses the pilgrims as a reference to America, but cummings adds the words “and so forth” at the end of the sentence in order to lessen the meaning of what the patriot has said by making the sentence seem less important (2). Therefore, Cummings seems to be making a mockery of the patriot in order...

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...indly to their deaths.
E. E. Cumings poem “next to of course god america i” is a satirical sonnet. Also, the rhyme scheme of the poem is ABABCDCDEFEFE and consists of fourteen line of which thirteen are grouped together. The literal meaning of the poem is that of a patriot praising America and who admires the beauty of war. In contrast, the analytical meaning of the poem is that Cummings dislikes war and that patriotism is a foolish thing that is responsible for the deaths of patriots who went to war. This analysys is drawn from the sarcastic form in which the poem seems to be written.

Works Cited

Cummings,E. E. “next to of coursegod america I.” Literature: An Introduction to Reading and Writing. 9th ed. Edgar V. Roberts. Pearson Education, 2009. 665-666. print.
Key, Francis Scott.“The Star Spangled Banner.”Holland 1912. 1-1. Poetry Archive. Web. 12 Mar. 2014.
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