Analysis of Cummings


When I read Cummings’ poem “what if a much of a which of a wind” I feel as if I can identify with and understand what he is trying to portray and get across with the message of this poem. Although the poem has a very confusing nature, I feel that if you read the poem with an open mind, many meanings can be sought out, which I think is Cummings’ intent.


I think that when Cummings brings about all of the different scenarios (example: Blow hope to terror; blow seeing to blind), he is illustrating that even through simple conflicts, one’s mind can be at war with itself, and decisions can be virtually impossible and unreachable. I feel I have felt this way before many times. When faced with a situation, an endless amount of possibilities and solutions are thrown my way, and I have no idea how to react or feel, and the difference between black and white is none.


Something else that I found out about this poem that interests me is in the first line. It says “what if a much of a which of a wind gives truth to summer’s lie” this to me means, how do you we know that sometime, some random moment, something is not going to come along and change your perspective completely on everything around you? This line says that a wind, a simple wind, comes along and gives truth to summer’s lie. I think many things can be interpreted as the wind, but to me the one thing that is able to change perspective of everything in one’s life is love. I think that Cummings is trying to illustrate that once you have love in your life, everything is different. Your perspective on everything changes, without effort or endeavor on your part. It’s almost as if a new area of your consciousness opens up that you never even knew was there. The fact that wind is what gives away summer’s lie means to me that the opening up of this new perspective is nothing that can be started, stopped or controlled by anyone, it just happens, like the wind.


It also says that “the wind yanks immortal stars awry”, and this to me just shows how the whole poem is illustrating that things are happening that are impossible and would not normally happen. You can’t askew stars, and by law of science, it is never going to happen. I think that Cummings is trying to show that anything can happen when that one “life changing” incident comes into your life. Starts can be left awry, Kings can become beggars and friends can become fiends. Things happen that you never could even comprehend occurring.


The poem talks about all these amazing and fantastic, fictitious things happening, and even though they are not real, they are happening. The poem states that the secret to all this is man I think that Cummings is trying to say that the power and uninhibited nature of the human mind is incomprehensible. The human mind can turn things upside down, inside out, and make the impossible, achievable. In the poem, all these crazy things are happening, and the secret remains man. The cause of all these things becoming real and likely is the power and boundlessness of the human mind.


Each time Cummings uses a line such as “—when skies are hanged and oceans drowned” I think that he is illustrating a new found sector in his life. Every time he mentions a crazy scenario such as this, he is showing that another area of his life has began, that will change him forever. This poem shows that he is aware of the constant rebirth of new feelings and situations in the complicated life that we all lead. In the poem he shows so many different feelings. Fear, disappointment, rebirth, and confusion are some of the feelings that he scatters through out the poem, as they are scattered through out our lives. To me, this poem is one big metaphor to life.


I think that a parallel that Cummings uses in the writing of this poem is one that shows the similarities to human life and nature. I see