they'd of we My father moved through theys of we, singing each new leaf out of each tree(and every child was sure that spring danced when she heard my father sing)..." --by E.E. Cummings What does 'theys of we' mean?
Oct 17, 2019 10:11 AM
Answers · 3
It makes no sense at first (or second glance). It is not "English" in any correct form. Cummings is known for playing with words and grammar so that their meaning is almost impossible to decipher unless you know him (the poet) plus the background of the poem. Understanding poetry like this requires poetry analysis, more than a knowledge of English. This poem is about his father. And one interpretation of the sentence containing 'they's of we' is Cummings is describing how the father is pushing away friends and family who were close to him. ie. The father was turning the "we's" (Cummings is playing with "we" and referring to people close to the father) into "they's" - people more distant (Cummings plays with the word 'theys' to create the idea of 'them'. ..... 'We' being people close, theys/them being people distant.)
October 17, 2019
Still haven’t found your answers?
Write down your questions and let the native speakers help you!
Language Skills
Chinese (Other), English
Learning Language