What is the meter of E.E. Cummings' "Next to of course god America"?

Expert Answers

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This work does not fall into traditional repeated feet or meter.  Instead, it both mocks and replicates the speech tones of an insincere political public rant, meant to impress the audience with a patriotic message, but in actuality exposing the hypocrisy of the speaker.  While it is possible to divide the lines into iambs, trochees, etc., the rhythm of speech is not illuminated by doing so.  Likewise, there is no line meter or rhyme that connects this poem with any traditional form such as a sonnet or limerick.  By dividing the speech into seemingly arbitrary lengths and by eliminating punctuation, Cummings manages to expose the hollowness of the sentiment.  It is by means of unorthodox meter that Cummings shows how the ambient tone of a speech can obfuscate the hypocrisy, making the message sound spontaneous and sincere even when it is really just phony patriotism.

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