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...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):



balloonMan    whistles