What is the denotative and the connotative meanings of the poem? "She being Brand...(XIX) by E.E. Cummings. Which one do you think the poet was interested in conveying? What kind of audience would...

What is the denotative and the connotative meanings of the poem? "She being Brand...(XIX) by E.E. Cummings. Which one do you think the poet was interested in conveying? What kind of audience would appreciate his poem the most? 

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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An extended metaphor, e.e.cummings's "She being Brand..." is a delightfully satiric poem whose meaning is insistently and, yet humorously, suggestive of a sexual act. Audiences of some sophistication would surely enjoy the satire of human sexual parts and actions being compared to those of an automobile. a satire that draws upon the many advertisements which compare automobile ownership with male prowess. Then, too, young males would enjoy the erotic connotations. And, those males (and females) who love cars and their power-satisfying enticement and thrilling empowerment would, indeed, revel in the seductively erotic images that cummings creates albeit rather tongue-in-cheek.  

Evocative of the Roaring Twenties in which human companionship, materialism, and sexual excitement were all chauffeured by the new machine that so befit this reckless era, cummings's persona describes his acts with a "brand-new" female as though he were preparing to drive a car of the time period, a vehicle of freedom, rebellion, fancy, and titillation.

One satiric example in which the new woman is likened to the man's automobile is in these lines:  

careful of her and(havingthoroughly oiled the universal

joint tested my gas felt of

her radiator made sure her springs were O.K

For, those days, drivers had to first oil the crankcase, then lift up the car's floor and grease the universal joint prior to any excursion. This preparation (foreplay) and "coupling" of the shaft with the universal joint"  is ironically imitative of Renaissance poems that made reference to pudendum.

This verse of cummings is one of several such poems, ironic when one considers the Puritanical views of his father. Thus, the poet himself enjoys a certain freedom and rebellion in the composition of such a poem.

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