ee cummings is one of my favorite poets (who are yours?), but this poem used to drive me crazy because I never could figure out what the third line meant, and neither could anybody I asked.
What does little Ernest croon
In his death at afternoon
(kow dow r 2 bull retoinis
wus de woids uf lil Oinis)
I was re-reading some of my favorite poems the other day and, when I came across this one, I realized you can look anything up on the internet now, so I did.
Ernest is Ernest Hemingway, and his last words, according to Cummings, are: “Cow thou art, to bull returnest,” a parody of a line in Longfellow’s “A Psalm of Life”: “Dust thou art, to dust returnest”
And now I’m stuck with trying to figure out what THAT means.