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In e.e cummings poem a poets advice to students what does he mean by this quote?" and...

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jeressica | Student, Grade 10 | eNoter

Posted June 6, 2010 at 10:12 AM via web

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In e.e cummings poem a poets advice to students what does he mean by this quote?

" and so my advice to all young people who wish to become poets is: do something easy, like learning how to blow up the world-unless you're not only willing but glad, to feel and work and fight till you die?

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jmj616 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted June 6, 2010 at 11:03 AM (Answer #1)

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E.E. Cummings, in his poem "A Poet's Advice," maintains that writing poetry is a supremely difficult task.

Cummings begins by defining the task of a poet:

A poet is somebody who feels, and who expresses his feelings through
words.

The first difficulty that the poet faces is that he often has ideas that are not original; Cummings considers such ideas to be "knowing or believing or thinking," but not feeling.

Once the poet has succeeded in generating an original feeling, he must then express this feeling in words.  The task of expressing an original feeling in original words is extremely challenging:

As for expressing nobody-but-yourself in words, that means working
just a little harder than anybody who isn't a poet can possibly
imagine

Cummings concludes that "learning how to blow up the world" is easier than learning to write poetry.

Nonetheless, Cummings loves the life of the poet:

It's the most wonderful life on earth.

Or so I feel.

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