"old age sticks" by E.E. Cummings analysis

Essay by bondra1214High School, 11th gradeA+, September 2002

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Old Age Sticks Analysis

In "Old Age Sticks" by E.E. Cummings, Cummings uses a change from normal formatting to an odd, separated format. This allows the reader to see the multiple meanings of each line.

Line two says "Up keep". This is saying that the old take care of the youth. But lines 2-4 combined say "..Keep off signs". This shows how old people are forbidding youth. Line 5 says "youth yanks them". This is saying that youth doesn't respect the old. But this line is also used in combination with line 6 saying "youth yanks them down", saying that youth just rips the old people's signs down. Line 11 is the single word "Sing". This is used twice. Once to finish (tres)&(pass), and to say that youth are singing and laughing at old. Line 13 cuts off the word "forbidden" to just "forbid" to say that old people scold and forbid youth's activities.

Line 19 and 20 are broken up to say that youth are both growing old, and that youth at the same time are "owing old.".

Overall, E.E. Cummings is a unique poet in respect to the content of his poems as well as the format he uses to write them. these separations in format are what makes these poems so complex and is what gives them so many meanings.