Spring is Like a Perhaps Hand by e.e. Cummings
Edward Estlin Cummings (1984-1925)

Group Members: Will, Abby, Francois

Spring is like a perhaps hand
(which comes carefully
out of Nowhere)arranging
a window,into which people look(while
people stare
arranging and changing placing
carefully there a strange
thing and a known thing here)and

changing everything carefully

spring is like a perhaps
Hand in a window
(carefully to
and fro moving New and
Old things,while
people stare carefully
moving a perhaps
fraction of flower here placing
an inch of air there)and

without breaking anything.

Notes: this is good. few formatting issues I fixed. sounds a little like a list of facts. may want to make transitions.
Poet History
Edward Estlin Cummings (E.E. Cummings) was born on October 14 1894 in Cambridge Massachusetts. In 1917, Cummings enlisted in the Norton-Harjes Ambulance Corps. While enlisted, his friend, William Slater Brown, was falsely accused and arrested on suspicion of espionage because of the wording of a letter he wrote. Cummings was arrested as well because of his close relationship with Brown. They were both sent to a prison camp for three and a half months, which would become the inspiration for his first literary work, The Enormous Room. He was then released from the prison camp and was held in France for another two years before he was allowed to return to New York. He then traveled the world and held down many other jobs including an essayist job for Vanity Fair. In 1926 his father was killed in a car crash, which greatly affected his writing style. He wrote many poems based upon his father, and his writing style overall had a change of focus. He was married three times, and had a daughter out of wedlock with his first wife. After she divorced him, she took their daughter to Ireland, where Cummings wouldn't see her until she was twenty two. Near the end of his life, Cummings was even given a honorary professorship at Harvard, his Alma mater. Cummings wrote many poems in his lifetime, which ended on September 3 1962. Spring is Like A Perhaps Hand was written in 1925 and was published in Cummings' book, &.

Notes: Good job, nothing noticeably wrong.
  • We found no unknown vocabulary however, we did “uncover” some allusions…
  • The poem compares Spring with a "perhaps hand". The "perhaps hand" alludes to unexpectedness, a random appearance out of "Nowhere". The appearance is not sudden though, it is subtle just like a hand opening and flowers flowering in the Spring. The appearance represents a change in the world that isn't readily noticed,even though we constantly are seeing the world, but is noticed when the process is complete.
  • The poem also addresses the power Spring has to change our world, but the fragility in the way it does it's work, "without breaking anything".

Poetic Devices

  • The most obvious use of a poetic device in the poem is the simile used to compare Spring to a perhaps hand. Using this simile helps support the idea of Springs unpredictability and softness.
  • Repetition of the word "carefully" is used to emphasize Spring's subtlety and beauty in the way it allows for new life. The poem itself also uses a lot of repetition in the way that in the second stanza it restates a lot of what it said in the first stanza.
  • There is some symbolism in the perhaps hand as it represents both power, like a fist, and beauty, as in a dance. The symbolism of Spring as a hand may also allude to the fact that hands are commonly used for greeting, similarly, Spring “greets” the year.

Francois' Individual Analysis

Will's Individual Analysis

Abby's Individual Analysis


  • E. E. Cummings. Academy of American Poets, 2009. Web. 22 Nov. 2009.