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What is the theme of his poem "next to of course god america i"?

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ggwen14 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 25, 2010 at 4:46 PM via web

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What is the theme of his poem "next to of course god america i"?

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epollock | Valedictorian

Posted October 25, 2010 at 4:49 PM (Answer #1)

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This author is probably one of the more intricate and involved poets. This poem is a minor masterpiece of poetic satire, in which the main speaker reveals his stupidity as he talks. Cummings raises the issue that numbskulls who voice such platitudes give patriotism a bad name. The poem satirizes the clichés and banalities of super-patriotism. The alliteration and repetition (especially in lines 7–8) underscore the speaker’s fatuousness. Line 14, spoken by a detached observer, puts the preceding diatribe into perspective and also indicates that this particular “voice of liberty,” now mute, is really a voice that tries to suppress, not liberate, the human spirit.

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