Both poems include men driving a car but the emotions evoked by these poems are very different. E.e. Cummings is comparing the first time driving a new car to having sex. An example of this is when he says “I touched the accelerator and give her the juice, good.” The poem is very descriptive of a car as if describing the physical features of a women. It is an exciting poem that gives the feeling of a lot if twists and turns and fast paced action. Phillip Levine is using the car more as a tool. He is driving through his home town after the riots have torn people apart. An example from the poem is when he says “One brown child stares and stares into your frozen eyes until the lights change and you go forward to work.” The car is like a bubble that he is in and using to view the outside world. The use of the cars are very different for both men. I feel Philip Levine is using the car to protect himself and drive pass the racism that Detroit has brought upon itself. E.e. Cummings on the other hand is using the car for his own pleasure.
I too at first thought that Levine used the car simply to move around Detroit in the poem but I think it is more than that. the car is a metaphor for indifference. He also uses the pronoun we indicting us the readers as well as himself. We drive by the child and just go to work. We drive by and we do nothing about the miserable living conditions and the pollution.