[in Just-]

[in Just-]

by E.E. Cummings

in Just-
spring          when the world is mud-
luscious the little
lame balloonman

whistles          far          and wee

and eddieandbill come
running from marbles and
piracies and it’s
spring

when the world is puddle-wonderful

the queer
old balloonman whistles
far          and             wee
and bettyandisbel come dancing

from hopscotch and jump-rope and

it’s
spring
and

the

goat-footed

balloonMan          whistles
far
and
wee

Summary of [in Just-]

  • Popularity of “[in Just-]”: This poem was written by E. E Cummings, a great American poet, painter, and essayist. The poem “[in Just-]” is a narrative poem about happiness. It was first published in 1920 in The Dial. The poem speaks about the happiness of children playing outdoor in the spring season. It also illustrates how nature provides us a chance to come out of our unruly routines and adore the bounties of nature. Similar to most poems, this one too talks about nature versus man.
  • “[in Just-]” As a Representative of Joy: This poem is an expression of joy. The poem begins with a description of the nice weather. The poet says that it is finally the springtime. The colorful flowers are once again spreading colors, and the weather is becoming nice too. He also talks about a balloon man who is whistling for all the little children. Upon his call, two little children, Eddie and Bill, come running to him, leaving their activities aside. The joy of these children and the vibrant call of that balloon man once again reminds the poet about the nice spring weather. Soon, two more children, Betty and Isabel, who were playing hopscotch and jump-rope, also come singing and dancing toward the balloon man. The poem presents the charm of the spring season syncing with the joy of childhood.
  • Major Themes in“[in Just-]”: Nature, joy, and childhood are two major themes underlined in this poem. Throughout the poem, the speaker talks about two things; the happiness of the children and the wonderful spring season, which brings colors to the earth. The speaker, being a silent observer, details the merriment of the children and their games. The small limp balloon man also appears to entertain the children with his balloons, while his presence adds colors to their day. In short, it is through this simple text the speaker conveys the idea that everything seems to be bright, colorful, and vibrant in spring. It gives us a chance to come out and enjoy life to its fullest.

Analysis of Literary Devices Used in “[in Just-]”

Literary devices are tools the writers use to create meanings in their texts. It is through these devices they convey their emotions, feelings, and ideas to the readers. They can also make the poem lifelike and connects the reader with the real message of the text. E. E. Cummings has also used some literary devices in this poem. The analysis of some of the literary devices used in this poem has been given below.

  1. Alliteration: Alliteration is the repetition of consonant sounds in the same line. For example, the sound of /m/ in “Meow, meow, meow”.
  2. Assonance: An assonance is the repetition of vowel sounds in the same line. For example, the sound of /oo/ in “goat-footed/balloonMan whistles” and /i/ sound in “and eddieandbill come.”
  3. Anaphora: It refers to the repetition of a word or expression in the first part of some verses. For example, “it’s spring” in first and second stanzas of the poem to emphasize his point.

 “and eddieandbill come
running from marbles and
piracies and it’s
spring.”

  1. Consonance: Consonance is the repetition of consonant sounds in the same line such as the sound of /r/ sound in “Oh, mother dear, see here, see here.”
  2. 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. For example,

“in Just-
spring          when the world is mud-
luscious the little
lame balloonman.”

  1. Imagery: Imagery is used to make the readers perceive things with their five senses. For example, the happiness of little children is personified in “and bettyandisbel come dancing/from hopscotch and jump-rope” and “and eddieandbill come/running from marbles.”
  2. Onomatopoeia: It refers to the words which imitate the natural sounds of the things. The poet has used the word “wee” in all stanzas of the poem.
  3. Symbolism: Symbolism is using symbols to signify ideas and qualities, giving them symbolic meanings different from literal meanings. Here, dancing, running, and whistles are symbols of happiness.

Analysis of Poetic Devices Used in “[in Just-]”

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. Quintet: A quintet is a five-lined stanza borrowed from black medieval French poetry. Here first stanza is a quintet.
  3. Stanza: A stanza is a poetic form of some lines. There are three stanzas in this poem, with each having a different number of verses in it.
  4. Repetition: There is a repetition of the verse “whistles          far          and wee” which has created a musical quality in the poem.
  5. Refrain: The lines that are repeated again at some distance in the poems are called refrain. The verse, “whistles          far          and wee” is repeated with the same words, it has become a refrain as it has been repeated in all stanzas of the poem.

Quotes to be Used

The lines stated below are useful for children to share their outdoor experiences with their family and friends.

the queer
old balloonman whistles
far          and             wee
and bettyandisbel come dancing.”