Brian Docherty: On "next to of course god america i"

‘next to of course god america i’ is a satire on both the cliché-spouting patriot and the gullibility of his audience. cummings includes most of the clichés politicians mouth at election time, and his point is that while anyone who dared to criticise any of these concepts would be labelled un-American and a commie subversive, it is politicians like this who have muted the voice of liberty. His general attitude to politicians is expressed succinctly in ‘a politician is an arse upon’, a two-line epigram m the best classical tradition.

From Docherty, Brian, "e.e. cummings." In American Poetry: The Modernist Ideal. Ed. Clive Bloom and Brian Docherty. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1995. Ó 1995 The Editorial Board Lumiere (Cooperative Press) Ltd.