Pity this busy monster by E.E. Cummings


E. E. Cummings

According to the Norton Anthology, E.E. Cummings is one of the most innovative modern poets. He is also very unique. He tends to create a lot of his own words by combining two words, like manunkind. His writing style is very particular and precise. In his poem, Pity this busy Monster, manunkind, he uses fifteen lines with no capitalization in the beginning of the lines.

In this poem, Cummings talks about how he is revolted with mankind because everything doesn’t seem right, as if it’s almost manufactured. Man itself, is too busy with progression that there is no time for anything else such as dignity, peace, or distinctiveness:

“Progress is a comfortable disease;
your victim (death and life safely beyond)” (Lines 2-3).
It’s as if mankind is so used to trying to progress that he doesn’t have time for anything else and that’s why Cummings is so disgusted by it.
He makes it very clear in this poem by stating the contrast of the natural world and the artificial world. He believes the artificial world is created by mankind who came up with the science and technology that has gotten this world to be lazy. In lines 9-10 he states:

“A world of made is not a world of born.” I think what he means by this is that he is once again referring to science and technology ruining mankind. The technology has ruined the natural world, which makes it no longer inhabitant. Then, he says in the last two lines: “Listen: there’s a hell of a good universe next door; let’s go.” When he mentions next door, I believe he is talking about the afterlife. He thinks that afterlife may be better than the real world, today, because everything wouldn’t all be about science and technology. So when he says that progress is a comfortable disease it’s because we are unaware of the fact that too much high technology can destroy us. I think Cummings does make a good point in this poem, too much technology can really destroy us because it gives us shortcuts so we’re really not learning a lot.

This entry was posted in CloseRead. Bookmark the permalink.