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Subject
· The poem is a satire on political arrogance and the exploitation of
patriotism to justify conflict…read more

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Form
· Written as a sonnet
· Little punctuation
· Lowercase and unusual grammar
· Two voices: mainly first person politician and the second is third
person observer…read more

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Form Explanation:
· The sonnet form is a traditional love poem and Cummings has chosen it to
reflect the subject of patriotism. He has, however, played with the form and it
is not a sonnet in the strictest sense. By distorting the sonnet form, Cummings
shows how patriotism has a corrupting effect on the speaker and it has
distorted their perspective on conflict
· The lack of punctuation and unusual grammar means it is a difficult poem to
read. This may suggest that Cummings is critical of the first person's message
and that it is difficult to comprehend how patriotism can be used as a
justification for conflict. The use of lowercase throughout the poem belittles
the grand themes of nationalism expressed by the speaker
· The use of two voices shows that the main body of the poem is a political
speech and allows the second speaker, and the reader to distance themselves
from the central message. The final line contrasts with the rest of the poem…read more

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Language
· `god' `america' `glorious' `heroic' `liberty'
· `these heroic happy dead'
· `deafanddumb' `and so forth'
· Prevalence of grandiose language
· Lots of clichés
· Words merged and lines unfinished…read more

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