Monday, February 9, 2009

Damn you Kevin!

Just kidding. Seriously though, I was about to write a post that was almost exactly like what you said. I did some research (you can call it cheating if you want, I don't care. Ahem.) last night as I was reading through the boys i mean and came across the cannon interpretation, and I struggled with the exact same feelings that Kevin hoped not to instill onto any of us. 

Did it make the poem better? Did it ruin it? 

Certainly I understood it much easier, but is 'understanding' poetry really the point of the exercise? I certainly felt a lot less compelled to try and interpret anything from it, it seemed as if all the mystery had been taken away. Then I got to thinking (that's a very rare and dangerous thing), EE Cummings was certainly a brilliant poet, and brilliant poets don't simply write about cannons, there has to be something deeper there. I'm still trying to figure out exactly what I think it is. It would seem almost as if Cummings is jealous of the almost personified cannons. He wants to be able to shake the mountains and lose all inhibition, but it doesn't seem as if he thinks he can. 
I like the comparison between the guys in Funny Games and the cannons/people Cummings describes. They're both wild, murderous, violent, explosive entities, and yet society views both of them in somewhat of a different light. We see cannons as a necessity of war, regardless of if we use them for defense or offense. The guys in Funny Games, however, are seen as evil, sociopathic psychopaths who lack compassion and probably couldn't even spell sympathy. Are they really that different? Many would argue that the majority of the wars in the world aren't necessary, obviously not very many would argue that point for WWI, but I digress. Perhaps Cummings admired the cannons/boys on a primal level, but realized that what they are and what they do are a bit more harsh than anything he, or most of us, are capable of. 

All of my Howitzer hoopla last night eventually caused me to delete everything I'd written about the boys i mean and start over with next to god of course. I couldn't interpret anything meaningful, it all felt wrong, I was writing the typical English Bullshit that got me through quite a few courses in high-school. 

It ruined the poem, really.  Good job Kevin. 

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