21 pages 42 minutes read

E. E. Cummings

[love is more thicker than forget]

Fiction | Poem | Adult | Published in 1939

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Literary Devices


Given that across nearly 40 years of productivity E. E. Cummings established a reputation for experimenting with eccentric, even playful poetic forms—shifting line length with reckless abandon; spacing out words within lines; even using typography and shape poems to create an image on the printed page that suggested the poem’s topic—“love is more thicker than forget” seems relatively ordinary. The lines are nearly exactly measured; the poem is itself four neat and tidy quatrains; there is a suggestion of conventional end rhymes, although in some cases—“alive” and “forgive” (Lines 10, 12), for instance, or “only” and “sunly” (Lines 13, 15)—they are sometimes sight rhymes, that is, words that look like they ought to rhyme but are actually pronounced differently. Save for the lack of capitalization and end punctuation and the regular indulgence of irreverent trickery with grammar and neologism, the poem’s form is remarkably unremarkable.

Given Cummings’s willingness to create eccentric forms and reimagine how a poem looks, how a poem is built, why such a relatively conservative structure? The topic, the breadth and depth of love, is for everyone, anyone. Cummings’s readership here is wide. Eccentric forms can become gimmicky and even distracting, should he have, say, sculpted irregular lines that would have shaped, say, a heart.