Sense and Senses in E.E. Cummings' Poems Essay

Sense and Senses in E.E. Cummings' Poems
An analysis of the logic and the use of the senses in E.E. Cummings' poetry.
# 153923 | 0 words | 0 sources | 2013 | FR
Published on Jun 17, 2014 in Literature (American) , Literature (Poetry) , English (Argument)


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From the Paper:

"Widely celebrated for his rebellious and provocative approach towards modern poetry, Edward Estlin, "e.e." Cummings (1894-1962) is remembered as one of the most eminent poets of the 20th century. His most famous characteristics include, among others, a deformed syntax, the disrespect to grammatical accuracy, the use of bizarre punctuation (so a general rejection of traditional conventions) and most admirably, his "romantic and transcendental attitude towards life". Most of Cummings' poems deal with the themes of life, love, nature, beauty, truth and the individual's freedom, perceived as a new form of dignity, and reject the rationality of mankind, which Cummings described as a dehumanised humanity. Speaking of the economic context that our poet was living in, it is crucial to remark that America had entered a time of genuine growth, especially with the rise of consumerism and machinery, often considered as the "evils of machinery" by many artists and social reformers. Cummings firmly criticized this machine-like humanity, as people gradually considered their strict reasoning as the only possible source of reliance and subsequently forgetting to live according to their feelings, hence the use of the term "mostpeople", coined by Cummings himself, to refer to the narrow-minded, rational and logic reasoning.
"One can relate reason and feeling to the notions of sense and senses, which are visible in Cummings' work. On the one hand, the concept of sense alludes to the ability to perceive, understand and judge things that are shared by "most people", thus reflecting the idea of common sense, taken from the Latin sensus communis, which Aristotle defined as the "perceptual operations that cannot be explained in terms of the five senses taken individually". In other words, one can say that the idea of common sense reflects the notion of rational thinking, that is to say perceptions that do not go beyond man's senses. According to the New Oxford Dictionary of English, sense alludes to the "intuitive or acquired perception or the ability to estimate". To me, sense clearly hints at the concepts of meaning and logic."

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