Buffalo Bill's- E. E. Cummings- Poem Summary

Updated: Apr 22


Poem introduction: The Poem Buffalo Bill’s by E. E. Cummings was published in The Dial in 1920 after the death of the legendary Buffalo Bill Cody, William Frederick an American soldier and bison hunter, and a showman. The poem shows how he was once and how he is dead now. This might also sound like praise or sarcasm, it’s up to the readers. Who is Buffalo Bill? He served during the American Civil war and he is a popular figure in the American Old West. People called his stories the legend of Buffalo Bill. He was nicknamed right after he won a buffalo hunt contest with his friend this is regarding a contract where he is to supply buffalo meat to Kansas Pacific Railroad. He killed around 68 animals in the hunt. Poem: Buffalo Bill ’s defunct who used to ride a watersmooth-silver stallion and break onetwothreefourfive pigeonsjustlikethat Jesus he was a handsome man and what i want to know is how do you like your blue-eyed boy Mister Death

Poem Summary: The structure of the poem is as usual experimental. He says Buffalo Bill is dead with the word ‘defunct’. He used to ride in a white stallion that appeared silver in color and ran smooth like water. The poet says, ‘and break onetwothreefourfive pigeonsjustlikethat’ the space less writing represents the uncountable number of dead pigeons which doesn’t even matter to him. By pigeons, he means ‘buffalo’ because Buffalo Bill killed 68 huge buffaloes in a herd as if they were pigeons flying in flocks. He says ‘Jesus’ as if he cannot tolerate such a handsome man’s death. In the end, he says that he needs to know whether ‘Mister Death’ liked the blue-eyed boy or not. He refers to Buffalo Bill. This poem can be interpreted in many ways and it is totally up to the readers to fit their context to any of the themes. This poem can also be considered as sarcasm on the ruthless Buffalo Bill or praise on the legendary Buffalo Bill.

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