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Explicate the poem "Next to of Course God America i".

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marlamaple | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 25, 2010 at 4:52 PM via web

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Explicate the poem "Next to of Course God America i".

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epollock | Valedictorian

Posted October 25, 2010 at 4:55 PM (Answer #1)

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The poem is a sonnet, with the form being abab, cdcd, efgfeg. The rhyming words are colloquial and also trite, in keeping with the nature of the speaker and his purpose as a July 4 type of orator. By eliminating capitalization and punctuation Cummings renders the common speech quality of the speaker’s oratory. The speaker is an impassioned yet ignorant traditionalist who sees death in war as heroic and admirable. His monologue is full of half-witted, half-digested, and fragmented phrases from patriotic songs. Cummings was the master satirist, and makes fun of the people who think they are patriotic but lack the necessary passion of what it really means to be patriotic.

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