R-P-O-P-H-E-S-S-A-G-R

r-p-o-p-h-e-s-s-a-g-r
who
a)s w(e loo)k
upnowgath
PPEGORHRASS
eringint(o-
aThe):l
eA
!p:
S a
(r
rIvInG .gRrEaPsPhOs)
to
rea(be)rran(com)gi(e)ngly
,grasshopper;

by E. E. Cummings

Comments (4)

did he have a fucking stroke writing this bad
was he drunk when he wrote this
Unfortunately, this isn't really e. e. cummings' poem. Cummings was an artist, and was extremely careful about the layout of this poem - it cannot be made flush left, as it is in this version. It is difficult to space the lines properly - but to get the correct effect, it is necessary.
The Rule: All poems are best appreciated when read aloud. For years and years I thought this was one exception to the rule (knowing as I did that eecummings will not encounter a rule without breaking it, or at least bending it) . It seemed to be a poem that literally could not be appreciated when read aloud. But think again. In order to read it at all (even to oneself) , one's eyes must hop around in fits and starts, searching for the next letter (never mind the next word) exactly the same way as one follows a grasshopper in a field. It is a truly non-linear poem. So now I read it aloud, spelling when I don't see a word, pronouncing when I see a phoneme, but all the time moving slowly when I have to, quickly when I may, eyes hopping from point to point until I see the grasshopper. BTW, there are no emoticons in this poem.