Thursday, December 13, 2012

"In Just" Reflection

It's very fitting that the first poem reflection on this blog will be the one from which the name of this blog was inspired. e.e Cummings's poem, "In Just," is a really great whimsical little poem, with fascinating line breaks, about springtime. The first thing that struck me about this poem was its use of imagery. When I read it, I pictured this small Pied Piper-like town where children playing in the square would buy balloons from a quirky old balloon man at the very beginning of spring. The poem reminds me of how it feels when the ice is melting: you can hear the world waking up after winter. I can almost sense the first day after winter when it is warm enough to not wear a coat. The tone of "In Just" makes it very easy to see and feel exactly how spring makes you feel, even if you are in the heart of winter, as we are now.

Another thing I really noticed about this poem was Cummings's use of diction. As noted in the previous post, Cummings is known for taking words and giving them a whole new meaning, or even putting words together that you would never expect. There are two examples found in the poem of diction, which are also featured in the title for this blog, that struck me as both unique and effective diction.

The first example of notable diction would be "mud-luscious." Cummings uses mud-luscious to refer to the time of year when everything is warming up and melting. Personally, I would have never thought to put the words "mud" and "luscious" side by side, unless I was being sarcastic. However, when Cummings uses that word choice in the first few lines of the poem, I understand how the mud could be sweet and soft. I think this word also brings a of tone to the poem that is hard to describe other than by saying that it feels like spring.

The second example of creative diction would be "puddle-wonderful." Once again, I personally would never have thought of putting the words "puddle" and "wonderful" together. It sounds almost child-like and primitive at first glance. Upon further reflection however, I feel as though the tone permeating throughout the poem, as well as the childlike diction, bring this poem to a new level of depth and sophistication. I really enjoyed the little glimpses into Cummings's creative vocabulary through this poem.

Overall, I loved this poem. I wish I could say it was my favorite, but I have read so little of his work so far that I don't know if that would be a fair statement!

Sources:
http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/176657#poem (for "In Just")

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