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FOREWORD from Is 5 Analysis

Author: essay of e.e. cummings Type: essay Views: 13

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On the assumption that my technique is either complicated or original or both,the

publishers have politely requested me to write an introduction to this book.

At least my theory of technique,if I have one,is very far from original;nor is it

complicated. I can express it in fifteen words,by quoting The Eternal Question And

Immortal Answer of burlesk,viz. "Would you hit a woman with a child?-No,I'd hit her

with a brick." Like the burlesk comedian,I am abnormally fond of that precision which

creates movement.

If a poet is anybody, he is somebody to whom things made matter very little-somebody

who is obsessed by Making. Like all obsessions,the Making obsession has disadvantages;for

instance,my only interest in making money would be to make it. Fortunately,however,I

should prefer to make almost anything else,including locomotives and roses. It is with

roses and locomotives(not to mention acrobats Spring electricity Coney Island the 4th of

July the eyes of mice and Niagara Falls)that my "poems" are competing.

They are also competing with each other,with elephants,and with El Greco.

Ineluctable preoccupation with The Verb gives a poet one priceless advantage:whereas

nonmakers must content themselves with the merely undeniable fact that two times two is

four,he rejoices in a purely irresistable truth(to be found,in abbreviated costume,upon

the title page of the present volume).


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