Marvin Felheim: "In Just--"

...The poem is in three movements, each built about the refrain of the balloonman's whistle; each movement has a spatial as well as a tonal quality; both qualities are quite definitely suggested by the placement of the words on the page. The first movement is horizontal (the sound is liquid, pulled out):

                 the little

lame balloonman

 

whistles      far       and       wee

The second movement is circular (the sounds are bunched): "eddieandbill come running" and "bettyandisbel come dancing" from all around (literally both sides) as

the queer

old balloonman whistles

far       and       wee

The final movement is vertical (the sound is stretched thin and tall: even Man stands up, capitalized):

     the

          goat-footed

balloonMan    whistles

far

and

wee

Details

Title Marvin Felheim: "In Just--" Type of Content Criticism
Criticism Author Marvin Felheim Criticism Target E. E. Cummings
Criticism Type Poet Originally Posted 04 Aug 2021
Publication Status Excerpted Criticism Publication Cummings' 'In Just--'
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