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I have to admit: I care for neither the punctuation nor the word splitting. The (, &, and word-splits just make the poem "cutesy". I prefer "in just-": http://www.web-books.com/Classics/Poetry/Anthology/cummings/InJust.htm .
But I know next to nothing about poetry.
Do others find the poem effective?
But, no, I can't match up the parentheses to their mates either-- perhaps there's an on-line exegesis somewhere....
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"bettyandisbel", "eddieandbill" or "gr
owing old"? Would you speed up or slow down?
In “old age sticks” cummings flouts the conventions of language in various ways. He uses enjambment — the spilling over of one line onto the next — to create multiple meanings, as in “youth goes/right on/gr/owing old.” He capitalizes words contrary to the standard rules, as in this poem, where he uses capitals to emphasize each word in old age’s string of negative commands: “Keep / Off,” “No / Tres pas/sing,” “Forbid/den Stop / Must/n’t Don’t.” Parentheses are normally used to enclose supplemental or somewhat extraneous information that is not essential to the primary meaning of the sentence; in “old age sticks,” however, cummings uses parentheses to separate the passages relating to old age from those about youth. Both sets of information are essential to the meaning of the poem. Cummings also places or spaces words in highly unconventional ways, as when youth “interrupts” old age: “No / Tres)& (pas) / youth laughs / (sing.”
The presence of all these devices might be disorienting for a reader unused to such oddities, so cummings provides some aids to understanding the poem — he creates his own “rules.” For example, each of the five stanzas contains eight syllables arranged in four lines: 3-2-1-2. This arrangement gives the poem structure and a degree of predictability. Cummings consistently uses the ampersand rather than the word “and.” Also, as we have seen, he is absolutely regular in the way he uses parentheses and capitals.
All the devices cummings employs add meaning to the poem, so that it conveys more than just the dictionary definitions of its words. In “old age sticks,” the words carry their usual meanings, but they also carry additional significance. The poem is about more than simply a battle between youth and old age. The interdependence of youth and old age and the theme of the cycle of life are entirely conveyed through cummings’ poetic devices. The words themselves say nothing about these subjects. Through the skillful selection, arrangement, and application of words, symbols, and techniques, Cummings is able to make “old age sticks” mean more than it says.
EXAMPLE: line 2 says " Up Keep" this si saying that the old take care of the youth but lines 2-4 combined say "keep Off Signs" this shows how old peple are forbbiding the youth
It is confusing i admit it BUT if you read it again and again and pay VERY close attention to the ouncuation and grouping of words it does really mean differnt thing than if you were to just read it like a newspaper article
People are waiting to help.
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