Buffalo Bill’s

Buffalo Bill’s

by E.E Cummings

Buffalo Bill ’s
who used to
ride a watersmooth-silver
and break onetwothreefourfive pigeons just like that
he was a handsome man
and what i want to know is
how do you like your blue-eyed boy
Mister Death

Summary of Buffalo Bill’s

  • Popularity of “Buffalo Bill’s”: E. Cummings, one of the great American poets and painter wrote Buffalo-Bill’s. It is one of the cynical poems. It was published in 1920, in the first issue of The Dial. The poem speaks about the showmanship of Buffalo Bill. It also illustrates that life has no escape; everyone has to taste death.
  • “Buffalo Bill ‘s” As a Representative of Death: This poem is a tribute to the hero, Buffalo Bill Cody, a famous American hunter, soldier, and showman. The speaker appears to pay a tribute to this legend in the form of a poem. The poem begins when the speaker announces that the great figure is no more amongst us and then describes his skills. He says that Bill used to ride a smooth male stallion and was a skilled hunter. He enjoyed hunting pigeons and buffaloes. While the poem implies he was superior to everyone. As the tone changes, the readers understand that this poem is a satire because Bill was a reckless hunter without regard for life. However, in conclusion, Mr. Death doesn’t spare anyone, whether good or bad. Unlike how the poem sounds, Buffalo Bill’s is not a tribute to Bill Cody.
  • Major Themes in “Buffalo Bill ‘s”: The reckless killing, death, and fame are the major themes underlined in this poem. The poem centers on the personality and lifestyle of the Buffalo Bill Code. The description shows that he was loved by his country and was a very influential man. The speaker admires his good looks, skills in shooting. However, the use of the word, “defunct” implies a callous behavior of the Buffalo Bill. The poem reminds us that though he was a skilled hunter, he was reckless.

Analysis of Literary Devices Used in “Buffalo Bill’s”

Literary devices are very important elements of a literary text. Their use not only brings richness to the texts but also makes the readers understand the meanings. E. E. Cummings has also made this poem superb by using figurative language. Here is the analysis of some literary devices used in this poem.

  1. Assonance: Assonance is the repetition of vowel sounds in the same line. For example, the sound of /oo/ in “how do you like your blue-eyed boy”.
  2. Alliteration: Alliteration is the repetition of consonant sounds in the same line in quick succession such as the sound of /w/ in “and what i want to know is” and the sound of /b/ in “Buffalo Bill ’s”.
  3. Consonance: Consonance is the repetition of consonant sounds in the same line such as the sound of /t/ in “and what i want to know is”.
  4. Enjambment: It is defined as a thought in verse that does not come to an end at a line break; instead, it rolls over to the next line. Here’s the entire poem is written as enjambment.
  5. Irony: Irony is a figure of speech in which words are used in such a way that their intended meaning is different from the actual meaning of the words. The poet has used this device in the ending lines of the poem. For example,

“how do you like your blue-eyed boy
Mister Death.”

Analysis of Poetic Devices Used in “Buffalo Bill’s”

Poetic and literary devices are the same, but a few are used only in poetry. Here is the analysis of some of the poetic devices used in this poem.

  1. Free Verse: Free verse is a type of poetry that does not contain patterns of rhyme or meter. This is a free-verse poem with no strict rhyme or meter.
  2. Stanza: A stanza is a poetic form of some lines. There is a short poem having only one stanza composed of eleven verses.

Quotes to be Used

The lines stated below can be used to narrate the person who loves to go hunting. Also, to tell children not to hunt animals and protect them from being extinct.

“who used to
ride a watersmooth-silver
and break one two three four five pigeons just like that..”