Monday, February 9, 2009

How Many Words Does You Know?

Although "the boys i mean are not refined" is very suggestive and exciting, I have been having fun with the other poem, "next to god of course america i." If Kevin is correct about the girls being cannons, then both poems are political commentary. It makes sense for the poems to have a similar theme.

Cummings makes an interesting commentary on nationalism in "next to god." On youtube we watched Ali G interview Noam Chomsky. Chomsky is a world renowned linguist, but he is also a vocal advocate of anarchy. One of his popular criticisms of America is against blind nationalism. Chomsky recently said that “every election, the advertising industry gives a prize to, you know, to the best marketing campaign of the year.” Cummings tackles the use of advertising in politics. He makes a mockery of political rhetoric. Although I laughed out loud at the mixing up of the clich├ęs, by the end of the poem, I wanted to cry. There is immense energy contained in this poem. The energy is put out with the drink of water, like a dying breath. Cummings makes us aware of the humanity of the brave rushing “like lions to the roaring slaughter.” A famous banned author, Henry Miller, wrote an article called “The Hour of Man” in which he urges us to support people, not nations. Cummings calls attention to the need for this, especially in the time of war. We need to be aware of the rhetoric used to make us forget our humanity. Although the politicians fill our ears with talk of liberty and the preservation of liberty, they have silenced liberty.

No comments:

Post a Comment