Interpretation of poem “In Just”- E. E. Cummings
Within ‘in Just’-, E. E. Cummings uses his characteristic style that has made his poems so memorable and engaging to read. He plays with spacing, capitalization, indention, and syntax while at the same time creating a semi-clear image of spring. The poem delves into themes of spring, rebirth, innocence, and alludes to a darker theme of corruption.
The speaker himself is so delighted at the thought of such a spring world that he simply repeats: “it’s/ spring/ when the world is puddle-wonderful” with conspicuous emphases on each word and on the fore grounded new compound “puddle-wonderful”. The puddle (pool of dirty water on the road) is a wonderful thing to the child. The ‘queer’ old balloon man whistles far and wee. This man is a symbol of adulthood, puberty and sexuality, and the imperfect and ugly age that the children do not yet know anything about. This man, as indicated later on in the poem, is Pan, the goat-footed Greek god. Pan is a lecherous and ugly old man who is despised by the girls; but though he is disliked, he is essential because it is he who brings about the sexual changes in the growing children. This god is cast in the form of the modern balloon man. The sheer joy of the children is significant in the light of the fact that the balloon man is bringing an end to their childhood.
E.E. Cummings creates a poem that’s half painting and half sound-scape (that’s the aural version of a landscape). As Lain Landles points out, we won’t get deep into the technical reasons for why this works so well here; check out "Symbols, Imagery, Wordplay" for some closer looks at all the good stuff that’s going on (. For now, though, we’ll just tell you to read the poem aloud. You’ll see what we mean. Chock-full of words like "mud-luscious" and "puddle-wonderful," the poem seems to be bursting with descriptions of the way that a spring day in the park looks and feels and sounds and smells. And because the poem repeats itself several times (in fancy technical terms, we’d call that a "refrain,") it emphasizes the way that all the tiny details of the poem actually contribute to one overarching image: the park in spring.
In summary, many literary critics have praised cummings' poetry as unique, individualistic, and original. In his writing, cummings experiments with punctuation, form, spelling, and really does not follow any traditional poetry pattern. By doing so, he created his own writing style. His poems are brief, but emphasize key words and ideas, some of which he created on his own. When reading cummings, it is important to look at the entire poem and each word, even the punctuation of the poem, to help find the meaning.
An Analysis of Two Poems by E.E. Cummings. Iain Landles. New Series, No. 10, Tenth Anniversary Issue (October 2001), pp. 31-43
Friedman, Norman, E. E. Cummings: The Art of his Poetry.
Galgano, Andrea, La furiosa ricerca di Edward E. Cummings, in Mosaico, Roma, Aracne, 2013, pp. 441–44