Updated: Apr 22
The poem ‘In Just’ was published in 1920 in the Dial Volume LXVIII written by E. E. Cummings. The poem has 14 lines. It was written with no traditional writing practices instead he has used his own technique. The space between each word shows the speed limit (relating to the whistle sound) and so in the case of no space, it means ‘in a matter of time’.
spring when the world is mud-
luscious the little
whistles far and wee
and eddieandbill come
running from marbles and
piracies and it's
when the world is puddle-wonderful
old balloonman whistles
far and wee
and bettyandisbel come dancing
from hop-scotch and jump-rope and
The poem has a Ballonman, children, and the spring season who are seen all through the poem. Balloonman’s description relates to a mythological creature Satyr (a goat-footed man with a flute, he is known for his lustful, drunkenness, and mischievous). All through the poem, one can see how the poet has used words and symbols in celebrating the season spring and how children are lured out to enjoy the season with joy.
In the first stanza, he says that the spring season has come and all the place is filled with mud ‘mud-luscious’. In such a situation the (little lame) Balloonman whistles far and it sounds tiny. In the second stanza, two children (Eddie and Bill) rush out role-playing as pirates in the puddle-wonderful i.e. water-rich spring season.
Now the Balloonman is described as a queer old. He is still whistling and it is tiny. A lot more kids like Betty and Iseble are also drawn to the music of the Balloonman and come dancing.
Now the game that the children played has changed to hop-scotch and jump-rope as it is spring and the goat-footed (Satyr) Balloonman whistles and it sounds tiny.