Edward Estlin Cummings, Pity This Busy Monster, Manunkind (1944)

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pity this busy monster, manunkind,

not. Progress is a comfortable disease:
your victim (death and life safely beyond)

plays with the bigness of his littleness
--- electrons deify one razorblade
into a mountainrange; lenses extend
unwish through curving wherewhen till unwish
returns on its unself.

A world of made

is not a world of born --- pity poor flesh

and trees, poor stars and stones, but never this
fine specimen of hypermagical

ultraomnipotence. We doctors know

a hopeless case if --- listen: there's a hell
of a good universe next door; let's go

Critical Edition

e.e. cummings. "pity this busy monster, manunkind [1944]." Poems 1923-1954. First Complete Edition. New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, 1968. 397.

Further Reading

  • Yaron, Iris and Routledge, Michael (translator). "Hermetism in the Poetry of E. E. Cummings: An Analysis of Three Obscure Poems." Spring: The Journal of the E. E. Cummings Society, 11 (2002 Oct), pp. 107-19.
  • Eastwood, David R. "Poetry Hypotheses." Hypotheses: Neo-Aristotelian Analysis, 3 (1992 Fall), pp. 6-8.
  • Slotkin, Alan R. "The Negative Aspect of Homo Faber: A Reading of E.E. Cummings' 'pity this busy monster, manunkind'." Language of Poems, 2:2 (1973), pp. 34-41.

External Links