E. E. Cummings’s “r-p-o-p-h-e-s-s-a-g-r” is one of his fun language poems. With the mysteriously jumbled word he indicates that surprise flicking from the weeds, that reckless lunging grasshoppers escape danger with. The poem is simple but sparkles with those little surprises that Cummings loves to pull on us, the accordion image in the first line, the “who” in the second line, the see-sawing of the line fourth from the bottom, and the sporadic zigzagging of the entire piece. Also, for the hyper-attentive, the unique positioning of the tenth line that breaks down what in theatre is called the “fourth wall”.
Below is my parody, fashioned as closely to the original with a punchline all its own. I find this sensationally funny.
[EDIT: I give up. I can’t format this thing correctly. The “S” and “a” of the tenth line should extend past the rest of the poem putting them outside the column of the poem.]
a>s w<e loo>k