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MINO, 26 years old and is living in

Dulla St., San Isidro, Tomas Oppus, Southern
Leyte, is a graduate of Bachelor of Science in
Secondary Education specializing English.
She graduated in Southern Leyte State
University – Tomas Oppus where she took and
finished her Master of Arts in Education Major
in English degree. Currently, she is pursuing
Doctor of Philosophy in English with
specialization in Language in the University of
San Jose-Recoletos, Cebu City, Philippines.

Presently, she is teaching in Sogod National High School, Sogod,

Southern Leyte as a Senior High School Teacher III. She is handling
English related subjects in the Senior High School department of the
said school both in Grades 11 and 12. She was able to publish
several research papers both in the National & International arena.
Her interests includes linguistics, language acquisition and literature.
Zesa S. Mino

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Cummings, E.E Transference of meaning

Dialectal deviation
Deviations in
Grammatical deviation
Graphological deviation Poems of E. E
Historical deviation
Honest deception

I shall imagine life

Leech, G. N.
Lexical deviation
Love is more thicker than forget

Phonological deviation

Semantic deviation
Semantic oddity

Register deviation
32 1
Oxymoron, and Paradox have semantic absurdity that
contains self-conflicting information.
Register Deviation - The particular use of language in a
certain profession.
Transference of Meaning - it is classified into four tropes
of figurative language: Synecdoche, Metonymy, Metaphor,
and Simile.

Also by Zesa S. Mino

The Evolution of English

The Bilingual Brain

2 31

Dialectal Deviation - Refers to the borrowing of features of socially or

regionally defined dialects.
Grammatical Deviation - The deviation which constitutes the rule
breaking of grammar. DEDICATION
Graphological Deviation - A deviation relatively minor and superficial
part of style, concerning such matters as spelling, capitalization,
hyphenation, italization and paragraphing.
Historical Deviation - The use language in a particular period which
are no longer used in standard language to enhance the aesthetic or
musical value of the literary work.
Honest Deception - it is classified into three tropes" Hyperbole "the
figure of over-statement", Litotes "The figure of understatement", and
Irony. The three are connected in the sense that they all misrepresent
the truth.
Lexical Deviation - The invention of new word is one of the more
for all I love!
obvious way in which a writer exceeds the normal use of the language.
Phonological Deviation - The deviation in sound or pronunciation -zasm-
which is done deliberately in regard to preserving the rhyme.
Semantic Deviation - Tropes foregrounded irregularities of content.
Semantic Oddity - it means semantic peculiarity or strangeness of
expressions. There are five types of semantic oddity. Pleonasm,
periphrasis, and tautology have semantic inanity and superfluity, and

30 3

Love is more thicker than forget

more thinner than recall
more seldom than a wave is wet
more frequent than to fall

It's most mad and moonly

and less it shall unbe
than all the sea which only
is deeper than the sea

Love is more always than to win

less never than alive
less bigger than the least begin
It is the deviation in literature and poetry less littler than forgive
that allows us to see the ordinary world It's most sane and sunly
and more it cannot die
we live in from unfamiliar and revealing than all the sky which only
(Jacob Montgomery, 1992) is higher than the sky


i shall imagine life

is not worth dying if
(and when)roses complain
their beauties are in vain

but though mankind persuades

itself that every weed's
a rose roses(you feel
certain)will only smile

4 29
In 1952, his alma mater, Harvard University awarded Cummings
an honorary seat as a guest professor. The Charles Eliot Norton
Lectures he gave in 1952 and 1955 were later collected as i: six
Table of Contents
nonlectures. Cummings spent the last decade of his life traveling,
fulfilling speaking engagements, and spending time at his summer
Dedication 3
home, Joy Farm, in Silver Lake, New Hampshire. He died of a stroke on
Table of Contents 5
September 3, 1962, at the age of 67 in North Conway, New Hampshire
Preface 6
at the Memorial Hospital. His cremated remains were buried in Lot 748
Chapter I. Linguistic Deviations of Geoffrey Leech 7
Althaeas Path, in Section 6, Forest Hills Cemetery and Crematory in
Boston. In 1969, his third wife, model and photographer Marion Background of Geoffrey Leech 7
Morehouse Cummings, died and was buried in an adjoining plot. Eight Kinds of Linguistic Deviations 8
Cummings's papers are held at the Houghton Library at Harvard Chapter II. Linguistic Deviations in Poems of E. E Cummings 14
University and the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at
Background of E.E Cummings 14
Selected Poems of E. E Cummings 15
APPENDIX B Analysis of E.E Cummings Poems Using 16
1. L(a
l(a Bibliography 25
le Appendix 26
fa Glossary 30
ll Index 32
one About the Author 34


Cummings was married briefly twice; his longest
relationship was outside marriage. Cummings's first marriage, to
Elaine Orr, began as a love affair in 1918 while she was married
to Scofield Thayer, one of Cummings's friends from Harvard.
The conception of this material stemmed up from the
author’s desire to provide comprehensive yet simplified During this time he wrote a good deal of his erotic poetry.
discussion of linguistic deviation; thereby achieving fast pacing
of content delivery and content absorption. The author assumes After divorcing Thayer, Elaine married Cummings on
that E. E Cummings poems needs to be idealized into normal
March 19, 1924. However, they separated after two months and
utterances to fully understand the message of the poetry.
divorced less than nine months later. Elaine left Cummings for a
This monograph deals with the process of identifying
linguistic deviations present in a poem using the selected poems wealthy Irish banker, moved to Ireland, and took Nancy with her.
of Edward Estlin Cummings. The instrument used to determine
Under the terms of the divorce Cummings was granted custody
the linguistic deviations where the 8 Kinds of Linguistic
Deviations by Leech (1969). The deviations are the following; of Nancy for three months each year, but Elaine refused to abide
(1) Phonological Deviation, (2) Graphological Deviation, (3)
by the agreement. Cummings did not see his daughter again until
Lexical Deviation,(4) Grammatical Deviation, (5) Semantic
Deviation, (6) Dialectical Deviation, (7) Register Deviation and 1946. Nancy later married Joseph Willard Roosevelt, second son
(8) Historical Deviation.
of Kermit Roosevelt and Belle Wyatt Willard. Cummings married
The selected poems of E.E. Cummings’ are L(a, Love Is his second wife Anne Minnerly Barton on May 1, 1929, and they
More Thicker Than Forget and I Shall Imagine Life. English
teachers as well as English students can use this monograph as separated three years later in 1932. That same year, Anne
reference in studying about the kinds of deviations particularly obtained a Mexican divorce; it was not officially recognized in the
in the process of determining the presence of deviations in
certain poems. Definitions and descriptions for each type of United States until August 1934.
deviation are laid down in this monograph with examples for
each kind of deviation. The year Cummings and Anne separated, he met Marion
With this material, the author positively believes that at the Morehouse, a fashion model and photographer. Although it is not
completion of reading this monograph, readers can have a clear clear whether the two were ever formally married, Morehouse
and vivid understanding on what linguistic deviation is all about,
how to identify them and readers can appreciate the importance lived with Cummings in a common-law marriage until his death in
of linguistic deviations in poems for form and content purposes. 1962. She died on May 18, 1969, while living at 4 Patchin Place,
Greenwich Village, New York City, where Cummings had resided
since September 8, 1924.
6 27
Linguistic Deviations of Geoffrey Leech
Edward Estlin Cummings’ Biography Background of Geoffrey Leech

Geoffrey Neil Leech was a specialist in English language

and linguistics. He was the author, co-author and editor of over
Edward Estlin Cummings was an American
30 books and over 120 published papers. His main academic
poet, painter, essayist, author, and playwright. interests were English grammar, corpus linguistics, stylistics,
He was born to Robert Cummings and pragmatics and semantics.
Whelma Haswell Clarke, who were Unitarian. Leech was born in Gloucester, England on January 16,1936.
He exhibited transcendental leanings his He was educated at Tewkesbury Grammar School,
Gloucestershire, and at University College London (UCL),
entire life. His body of work encompasses
where he was awarded a BA (1959) and PhD (1968). He began
approximately 2,900 poems, two his teaching career at UCL, where he was influenced by
autobiographical novels, four plays and Randolph Quirk and Michael Halliday as senior colleagues. He
several essays, as well as numerous drawings spent 1964-65 as a Harkness Fellow at the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology, Cambridge MA. In 1969 Leech moved
and paintings. He is remembered as an eminent voice of 20th century to Lancaster University, UK, where he was Professor of English
English literature. Linguistics from 1974 to 2001.

In 2002 he became Emeritus Professor in the Department of

Cummings wanted to be a poet from childhood and wrote Linguistics and English Language, Lancaster University. He was
poetry daily aged eight to 22, exploring assorted forms. He went to a Fellow of the British Academy, an Honorary Fellow of UCL and
Harvard and developed an interest in modern poetry which ignored of Lancaster University, a Member of the Academia Europaea
and the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, and an
conventional grammar and syntax, aiming for a dynamic use of
honorary doctor of three universities, most recently of Charles
language. Upon graduating, he worked for a book dealer. University, Prague (2012). He died in Lancaster, England on
August 19, 2014.There has been something like a revolution in
the relation between linguistic and literary studies, in part
26 through 7
the mediation of the anthropological “structuralists”.
Numerous critics have turned to the work of professional
linguists and equipped themselves with a far sharper knowledge of BIBLIOGRAPHY
language. At the same time and again in part through the same
mediating influences, linguists have come to take a far more
sophisticated interest in literature. Where the goal was once little more
than the assembly of linguistic “facts” that might be used by literary
Clark, H. C. (1977). Psychology and language: an
critics, we now find linguists confidently making critical analyses that
introduction to psycholinguistic. New York: Harcourt Brace
contribute directly to literary interpretation and evaluation.
In this revolution, Geoffrey Leech has played a leading part –
testified by a book entitled “A Linguistic Guide to English Poetry”. Brook, G. L. (1977). A history of the English
Geoffrey Leech is an Emeritus Professor of Linguistics and English language. London: London University Press.
Language in Lancaster University. Small wonder that in 2005, the book Leech, G. (1969). A Linguistic Guide to English
was awarded the 25th Anniversary Prize by the Poetics and Linguistics
Poetry. London: Longman.
Association. A great deal has been written in the field of stylistics in the
past 25 years, not least by Leech and the scholars worldwide that they Short, M. (1996). Exploring the language of poems,
have inspired. plays and prose. London: Longman.

Leech’s Eight Kinds of Linguistic Deviations Trudgill, P. (2000). Sociolinguistics: an introduction

to language and society. London:Penguin Books.
This section deals with the eight types of linguistic deviations
Wegner, R. (1965). The Life & Poetry of E. E
based on Leech's classification. The author used Leech Classification Cummings. Harcourt: Brace World
on Linguistic Deviation because this is the only detailed and intensive
classification on linguistic deviations used in interpreting poems. The
first type of deviation is the Phonological Deviation. Since most of
literature is written, there would be a relatively little scope for
phonological deviation (Short 9). It is not surprising that phonological
deviation in English poetry is of limited edition because patterns of
phonology are even more on the surface than those of syntactic
According to (Leech 27), it is the deviation in sound or
pronunciation which is done deliberately in regard to preserving the
rhyme, as when the noun wind (wɪnd) is pronounced like the verb wind
(waɪnd). Leech (27) considers the phonological deviation as
irregularities of pronunciation. The implicit sound pattern can always be
8 25
language of multisensory and multimedia processing. He makes made explicit in reading aloud. To a large extent, this implicit
orthography and page design sculpt the spontaneous experience he phonology is determined by choices of words and structures at
wants to convey. He stands out because his bold demolition of the syntactic level, where it can be regarded as an important
traditional poetic forms did not lead to disintegration of meaning or self- ingredient of stylistic value (Leech & Short 22).
absorbed formalism. (Trudgill 8), stresses "grammatical deviation from
standard English is associated with phonetic and phonological
differences, although this is not indicated on the printed page,
that is to say , there are social-class dialects as well as
social-class accents.”
The second type of linguistic deviation is the
Graphological Deviation. (Leech and Short 92), claim that
graphological deviation is a relatively minor and superficial part
of style, concerning such matters as spelling, capitalization,
hyphenation, italization and paragraphing. Such matters are to
great extent determined conventionally by syntax and become
noticeably expressing only when a writer makes a
graphological choice which is to some degree marked or
unconventional, such as a deliberate misspelling.
There is a kind of graphological deviation which needs
to have no counterpart in speech. The typographical stanza is
a unit which is not parallel in non-poetic varieties of English; it
is independent of and capable of interacting with the standard
units of punctuation (Leech 69). This interaction is a special
communicative resource of poetry. E. E Cummings is well
known for his use of other type of orthographic deviation
discarding of capital letters and punctuations where convention
calls for them, jumbling words, eccentric use of parentheses,
etc. For Cummings capitalization, spacing and punctuations
become expressive devices, not symbols to be used according
to typography costume. Graphological convention is still
evolving as can be seen in the various ways that people
currently express emphasis using capital, spacing and special
symbols. Sometimes, capitalization of varying sizes is used for
emphasis, irony, satire, and other literary purpose.
24 9
Another type of linguistic deviation is the Lexical Deviation. graphic and semantic independence, turning them into individual
The most obvious example of lexical deviation is those where writers syntactic values which would be hard to single out if words were
make up words which did not previously exist. This is called neologism tightly bound in grammatical constructions. Cummings achieved
(Leech 69). Neologism or the invention of new word is one of the more the effect in dissolving bonds between the words and even letters
obvious way in which a writer exceeds the normal use of the language. and playing them out as single notes carrying their own color and
(Leech 69) calls "new word Nonce-Formations if they are made up for rhythm.
the nonce, i.e., for a single occasion only". The English rules of word
Cummings' work often does not proceed in accordance
formation permits prefixation of "fore" to a verb, in order to convey the
meaning beforehand as in foresee, foreknow, foretell and forewarn. with the conventional combinatorial rules that generate typical
English sentences. In addition, a number of Cummings' poems
However, the rule is in fact limited to a small group of items, feature, in part or in whole, intentional misspellings, and several
such as in "Waste Land" T.S Eliot overgeneralizes the use of this prefix incorporate phonetic spellings intended to represent particular
and he introduces a new word that is not usual in English language dialects. Non-deviant language in both everyday communication
which is foresuffered in the following line: and within poetry, and suggests a reason as to why this might
"And I Tiresias have foresuffered all" be.
This strikes us as a novelty and as a surprising extension of the
The deviations proved much more positive and productive
expressive possibilities of the language. Another way in which writers
for E. E. Cummings were his formal innovations. These
can produce foregrounding through lexical deviation, is by the use of
innovations involved radical rethinking of all poetic material like
affixation which is the addition of prefix or suffix to a word in the
language, as well as by compounding, i.e., the joining together of two words, their connections to other words, and their placement on
or more items in order to make a single compound one. As in the the page as semantic devices. Cummings treated a word as a
unit of meaning as well as a design piece. The visual aspects of
following example form Hopkins's in "The Wreck of the Deutschland",
the word expressed through its graphics and placement on a
both compounding and affixation are used to similar effect: "The
widowmaking unchilding unfathering deeps". The noticeable use of page are not extraneous to meaning, but an essential part of it.
E. E. Cummings is an artist as well as a poet who blurs the line
the prefix "un" with the words in which would not be preceded with in
between the two forms of art. He experimented with poetic form
Standard English unchilding and unfathering.
and language to create a distinct personal style. He has been
Furthermore, lexical deviation might be made also by the slip of
the tongue or speech error in which one may deviate from the intended known for his unusual way of lines distribution and outstanding
writing skills. He resorted to various unique syntactic structures
utterance to form a new word. Some of these tongue slips are called
in many of his poems to create his unique "eccentric typography".
malapropism. The term refers to the misuse of words which comes
from the name of Mrs. Malaprop a character in "The Rivals" play, she Many of them do not only involve graphological or punctuation
would say reprehend for apprehend, and derangement for innovations, but also syntactic ones. He rebels against traditional
poetic form and style and he invents a new
arrangement. It is a technique used by writers and poets to form new
words (Clark, 102).
10 23
complaining about their life, the life they have is not worth dying for, or The exchanging of reprehend for apprehend and
not worth living for. derangement for arrangement may come as a result of the
speaker's incomplete phonetic representations of the words
6. Dialectical Deviation – There is no dialectical deviation present in
they were thinking of and so they selected the first word that
the poem.
sounded right.
7. Register Deviation – There is no register deviation present in the Grammatical Deviation is the fourth type of
linguistic deviation. The number of grammatical rules in
8. Historical Deviation – There is no historical deviation present in the English language is substantial, and therefore the
poem. foregrounding possibilities via grammatical deviation is also
substantial (Short 43). To distinguish between the many
Conclusion different types of grammatical deviation, it is as well to
The analysis of the selected poems show how we can use start with the line traditionally drawn between
stylistics to uphold an interpretation of a poem, and how it can also morphology the grammar of the word, and syntax the
highlight elements of a poem that one might otherwise miss. It also grammar of how words pattern within sentences (Leech 51).
enables the readers to speculate with more certainty on precisely why The existence of differences in language between
E. E. Cummings chooses to use such seemingly odd stylistic social classes can be illustrated by the following
techniques. Deviant punctuation is linked to the foregrounding of sentences (Trudgill 35):
dynamic verbs, explaining why the reader perceives so much movement Speaker (1) Speaker (2)
in the poem. He experimented with the ellipsis, distortion, fragmentation, I done it yesterday. I did it yesterday.
and a grammatical juxtaposition that make some of his poetry difficult.
Any native speaker of English language would be
He dismembered words into syllables and syllables into letters, able to speculate that speaker(1) was of a different social
and though his fragmentation activated rhymes and puns, the reasons class than speaker(2), as the difference in grammar
for it were also typographical--the look of the poem on the page. between the two speeches indicate that speaker(1) is from
Cummings is also a tireless word-maker. He created words by merging a lower social class. Grammatical deviation is
several stems into compounds, by moving the words between expressed also by a poet or a writer when using the
grammatical categories. A noun becomes a verb, an adjective becomes double negation, the double comparative, and the double
a noun, and by turning an abstract concept into countable nouns. superlative.
He also practiced the loosening of logical and linguistic ties Alike, writers or poets deviate from grammatical rules
between words in the lines and stanzas. Loosening of syntactic ties and by making a comparative or superlative adjectives to create
the use of associative logic in such poetry grant words more stylistic, a more emphatic sense and to promote an aesthetic sense
of piece through the combination and addition two ways of
22 11
expressing comparison, the addition of suffixes and the use of the I SHALL IMAGINE LIFE
separate words "more" and "most", Thus Shakespeare, for example,
combines unkindest and most unkind in the following: "This was the i shall imagine life
is not worth dying if
most unkindest cut of all ".
(and when)roses complain
Meanwhile, Semantic Deviation according to (Leech 31), “It is their beauties are in vain
reasonable to translate semantic deviation mentally into 'non-sense' or
'absurdity'”. Semantic deviation deals with what (Leech 73), calls as but though mankind persuades
"Tropes foregrounded irregularities of content". He states that they are itself that every weed's
classified into three sections. First, is the Semantic Oddity which a rose roses(you feel
means semantic peculiarity or strangeness of expressions. There are certain)will only smile
five types of semantic oddity. Pleonasm, periphrasis, and tautology
Literary Analysis:
have semantic inanity and superfluity, and Oxymoron, and Paradox 1. Phonological Deviation – In the poem, Cummings
have semantic absurdity that contains self-conflicting information uses the rhythmic pattern AABB evident in each
(Leech 73). line. Example, in stanza number 1;
The second classification is the Transference of Meaning. i shall imagine life
According to Leech's classification, transference of meaning is is not worth dying if
classified into four tropes of figurative language: Synecdoche, (and when)roses complain
their beauties are in vain
Metonymy, Metaphor, and Simile (Leech 73).

The last classification is Honest Deception. According to 2. Graphological Deviation – There are only 2
stanzas in the poem both consisting of 4 lines in
(Leech 74), the term honest deception is classified into three tropes"
stanza number 1, line 3 the words “and when “are
Hyperbole "the figure of over-statement", Litotes "The figure of enclosed with the open and close parenthesis,
understatement", and Irony. The three are connected in the sense that same as with stanza number 2 lines 4 & 5, the
they all misrepresent the truth. words “you feel certain” are enclosed also with the
The sixth type of linguistic deviation is Dialectal Deviation. open and close parenthesis, to bring a great
According to (Leech 75), he uses the term dialectism for dialectal emphasis to these words.
deviation; Dialectism refers to the "borrowing of features of socially or 3. Lexical Deviation – There are no new words
regionally defined dialects". It occurs when the writer uses words or present in the poem.
structures which are from a dialect different from that of standard 4. Grammatical Deviation – In the poem, two same
words are used in the same line. Evident in stanza
language. However dialectism is commonly employed by story tellers
number 2, line 3.
and humourists, as in Spenser's "The Shepheardes Calender". In this
5. Semantic Deviation – The poem uses the symbol
type of deviation he uses words like Heydeguyes (a type of dance), “rose” to represent beauty which further means the
Rontes (young bullocks), and weaned (a newly weaned kid or lamb) as beauty of life. That if roses complains that their
beauties are vain, so is life, if people keep on
12 21
standard rules of the language. Another deviation from the norm is such use evokes a flavor of rustic naivety in keeping with the
Cumming’s use of adverbs of time like: seldom, always, never into
the main slot in the adjective phrase frame. And we know that sentiments of pastoral.
adjectives describe qualities, whereas adverbs describe Register Deviation is the seventh type of linguistic
circumstances, examples in the poem involve phrases like: more deviation. Each profession has its particular uses of language,
seldom, less always…etc. which is known as a register. Literature as a literary profession
has its own particular use of words. But modern writers have
5. Semantic Deviation – Another deviation from the norm is done freed themselves from the constraints of poetic language. In
by Cummings in the aspect of semantics. One of the semantic
order to convey their message they often use one or more sorts
devices or techniques he uses in the poem is 'tautology' which
means saying the same thing twice. This is usually embodied in of registers. In prose writing, register borrowing is usually
everyday phrases like “war is war”, “If she goes, she goes”. accompanied by register mixing (Leech 82).
Cumming’s examples in the poem are “the sea is deeper than the
The last type of linguistic deviation is the Historical
sea”, “the sky is …higher than the sky”. Cummings used two
opposing words such as thicker and thinner (lines 1 & 2) and the Deviation. In this kind of deviation writers are not restricted to
words seldom and frequent (lines 3 & 4). It is observed throughout the language of their own particular period they use archaic
the poem that although 'love', as a human emotion, is involuntary, words or structures which are no longer used in standard
it is better not to be deeply involved in for its unreliability and language to enhance the aesthetic or musical value of the
instability. literary work (Leech 82). Leech calls historical deviation
6. Dialectical Deviation – There is no dialectical deviation present archaism and he defines it as "the survival of the past into the
in the poem.
7. Register Deviation – There is no register deviation observed in language of present time" (Leech 83).
the poem. It is worth mentioning that linguistic deviation is not
8. Historical Deviation – There is no historical deviation present in merely found in poetic language but also in non-poetic one.
the poem. Although, Leech examines only the language of poetry, it seem
that his method can be applied to the language of English
prose as he admits the need of the categories Prosaic Poetry
or Prosaic Prose. Since the linguistic deviations of poetry is
more imaginative, concentrated, complex, and powerful than
that of ordinary prose, it is very difficult, sometimes impossible.
Nevertheless, it is necessary for the reader of poetry to
pay a close attention to the linguistic deviation matters, for
these marks the authorship of a poem. To find the style of a
certain poem, the instances of linguistic deviation should be
20 13
2. Graphological Deviation – In the lines of the poem, it is
very noticeable that no punctuation marks are seen. The first
Chapter II and second stanzas are composed of 4 lines while the last
stanza was composed of 8 lines. The poem certainly bears
Linguistic Deviations in Poems many of the familiar stylistic imprints of its author, notable
among which, is the conspicuous spelling and orthography
of E. E Cummings resulting from the removal of standard punctuation devices
such as commas, full stops and capital letters. Thus, lack of
full stops, commas, and lack of the use of capital letters in
Background of E.E Cummings sentence initial positions all refer to a deviation from the
norms of English punctuation marks, which play a vital role in
text organization.

E.E. Cummings was a 20th 3. Lexical Deviation –The poem contains a number of
century poet and novelist known for his invented words, neologisms, such as the adjectives “sunly”
innovations in style and structure. E.E. and “moonly”, as well as the verb “unbe” which suggest a
Cummings (Edward Estlin Cummings) kind of reversal in sense from “being” to “not being”.
was born in 1894 in Cambridge,
Massachusetts. He was a fine artist, 4. Grammatical Deviation – We can observe that in spite of
playwright and novelist and poet. He their one-syllable status, adjectives like ‘thick’ and ‘thin’
earned both his B.A. and M.A. degree receive both the inflectional morpheme and the separate
from Harvard University. Cummings then intensifier (“more thicker”). Moreover, superlative forms of
other one-syllable adjectives like “mad” and “sane” do not
went to serve in World War I overseas as a volunteer for the receive the inflectional morpheme (as in “maddest” or
ambulance corps. He adopted a cubist style in his artwork. He “sanest”) but are instead fronted, more unusually, by
considered himself a painter as well as a poet, spending much of the separate words: “most mad” and “most sane”. A further
day painting and much of the night writing. Cummings particularly variation emerges where markers of both positive and inferior
admired the art work of Pablo Picasso. He uses the poetic term “free relations are mixed together in the same adjective phrase.
verse” in his poetry. He has disregard for capital letters. He does not Conventionally, in comparative constructions, the
observe the traditional rules and regulations of writing. As far as comparative adjective normally compares entities that are
Cummings is concerned, his poems can be categorized into three compatible at least in some features, e.g. ‘blood is thicker
types satirical poems, love poems, and poems on natures and than water’. Whereas Cummings, in ‘love is thicker than
forget’, compares the incomparable: “love” which denotes
animals. He has his own way of presenting thoughts by words
one of human emotions is compared to a verb “forget” which
scattering, word splitting, line breaking, unnecessary punctuation and
expresses a mental process. The writer constantly
capitalization. He claims that all these techniques helped in conveying
‘reduplicates’ the grammatical rules for comparative and
the real essence of his poems. superlative gradation; and all with deviations from the
6. Dialectical Deviation – There is no dialectical deviation
present in the poem. Selected Poems of E. E Cummings
7. Register Deviation – There is no register deviation L(a
present in the poem.
8. Historical Deviation – There is no historical deviation le
present in the poem. af
Love is more thicker than forget
more thinner than recall
more seldom than a wave is wet
more frequent than to fall

It's most mad and moonly LOVE IS MORE THICKER THAN FORGET
and less it shall unbe
than all the sea which only Love is more thicker than forget
is deeper than the sea more thinner than recall
more seldom than a wave is wet
Love is more always than to win more frequent than to fall
less never than alive
less bigger than the least begin It's most mad and moonly
less littler than forgive and less it shall unbe
It's most sane and sunly than all the sea which only
and more it cannot die is deeper than the sea
than all the sky which only
is higher than the sky Love is more always than to win
less never than alive
Literary Analysis: less bigger than the least begin
1. Phonological Deviation – There is a less littler than forgive
deviation in the pronunciation of the word It's most sane and sunly
“forgive” to rhyme with “alive”. and more it cannot die
than all the sky which only
Love is more always than to win
is higher than the sky
less never than alive
less bigger than the least begin
less littler than forgive 15
3. I SHALL IMAGINE LIFE consonants, both indicating, perhaps, the twisting motion of
the leaf as it falls. The parentheses aid this twisting
i shall imagine life movement, showing first, descent one way, then another.
is not worth dying if The downward movement is enhanced by lines 5 ("ll") and 8
(and when)roses complain ("l"), which can be seen as visually enacting the journey.
their beauties are in vain
3. Lexical Deviation – The poem which consists of just
but though mankind persuades four words, splits into two distinct phrases- "loneliness,"
itself that every weed's and "a leaf falls"-the poem has generated a wide range
a rose roses(you feel of critical analysis. These words in the poem are
certain)will only smile chopped; like the word “leaf” is chopped into
Analysis of Cummings’ Poems Using Leech’s af
This is evident in lines 3 and 4, another word is,
Linguistic Deviations
“falls” which is chopped into
L(a fa
l(a s)
le Another word is, “loneliness” where the letter “L” is
af placed at the first line in the stanza while the –oneliness is
fa chunked into
ll one
s) l
one iness
l This is evident in lines 7, 8 and 9.
4. Grammatical Deviation – There is no grammatical
Literary Analysis: deviation present in the poem.
1. Phonological Deviation – In the poem, Cummings
uses the sound of “/ɛl/”. 5. Semantic Deviation – The theme of the poem which
is loneliness is equated to a fallen leaf and this is quite
2. Graphological Deviation – Cummings used an example of a metaphor under transference of
unconventional punctuation like the open and close meaning. The falling of a leaf is a concrete act, whilst
parenthesis, word displacement, and unusual the word "loneliness" is an abstract concept. The single
arrangement lines, words, and even individual letters leaf falling is a metaphor for both physical and spiritual
to produce visual typographical forms. We see that the isolation. Thus, "Loneliness is like a falling leaf".
poem is organized into stanzas of alternating lines of Metaphorically, then, the poem enacts the vastness of
1-3-1-3-1, whilst the first four lines alternate vowels / space and the smallness of man within that space.
16 17