E. E. Cummings Questions and Answers

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What does the poem "she being Brand / -new" by E. E. Cummings mean?

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Austin Roberts eNotes educator| Certified Educator

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This poem is an interesting—if occasionally difficult—read, considering its seemingly erratic use of spacing, punctuation, and capitalization. A little research into the style of E. E. Cummings's writing gives us a deeper insight to the meaning of this poem. Cummings is known for using idiosyncratic spacing, text alignment, and capitalization as additional poetic tools (in addition to the usual imagery and form techniques many poets employ). As with any literary device, Cummings's play with words and letters helps to create each poem's tone, mood, and meaning.

I believe it helps to read E. E. Cummings's poetry out loud. With his style in mind, "she being Brand / -new" tells the story of a man taking his car out for a pleasurable ride, at times speeding up to enjoy what the car is capable of, and at times slowing down to relish the experience.

As with most poetry, however, perhaps the real meaning emerges when the reader takes the themes and central metaphors of "she being Brand/ -new"...

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