Category Archives: RR5-Poetry: eecummings and Levine

Poetry: e.ecummings and levine

The poems “she the brand” by¬†e.ecummings and “Coming Home, Detroit, 1968” by levine that describe on a metaphor about driving a car. In “she the brand” approaches that driving a car the author writes about sex and using this metaphor as way to describe his desire of sexual pleasure for the first time as he refers “the first ride annd believe I we was happy to see how nice and acted right up” In¬†“Coming Home, Detroit, 1968” by levine¬†approaches that driving a car the author writes about the devastation on how the invention of car and chaotic city Detriot was at the time. As the author refers “The fat stacks of breweries hold their tongues.” and “We burn this city every day.” These lines refers to as the destruction of how the industrial of cars affected the city in pollution.

Both of these authors use cars as way to explain their expression of what they experience through their life.


Poetry Response

The first poem “she being Brand” is about a brand new car that is giving the driver pleasure in testing her out. The mood is happy because he states “(it was the first ride and believe I we was happy to see how nice and acted right up to the last minute coming back down by the Public Gardens…)”. The poet is trying to accomplish the fact of how incredible the new car has a great relationship with him. In the first poem he uses car language to communicate with the audience.

The second poem “Coming Home, Detroit,1968” is about the riots and fires that happened in Detroit around that time. The poet is trying to accomplish the devastating feeling that the impact of the riots had on the city. He uses that metaphors of a car to show the surroundings feelings of dark, loneliness, quiet and isolated.


“she being brand” by e.e cummings is a¬†poem about¬†a¬†man describing his experience¬†driving his new¬†car for¬†the first time, which he metaphorically compares it to his¬†sexual experience with a¬†woman and being new could mean she’s a virgin. ¬†By “having throughly oiled the universal/ joint¬†tested my gas felt of¬†her/ radiator made sure her springs were O./¬†K.)i went right to it flooded-the-carburetor cranked her,”¬†the¬†man make sure that he’ll be gentle with her as he doesn’t want to damage her on his¬†first attempt.¬†The tone of the poem¬†seems that the speaker is¬†excited about the ride as¬†it¬†says that¬†“it was the first ride and believe I we was/ happy to see how nice and acted right up to/¬†the last minute coming back down.”


“Coming Home, Detroit, 1968” by Phillip Levine is a poem that has a dark¬†tone that talks about a man driving home to¬†Detroit, he¬†witness the¬†industrial negativity¬†that has hit his hometown.¬†Because¬†“we burn this city every day,” we have damage the environment as “the charred faces, the eyes/¬†boarded up, the rubble of innards, the cry/¬†of wet smoke hanging in your throat,/¬†the twisted river stopped at the colour of iron.‚ÄĚ



In the poem “SHE BEING BRAND” BY E.E Cummings E.E is referring to the car in a very sexual dame nor. he is having fun almost being playful and metaphoric like when he says (having throughly oiled the universal ¬†joint tested my gas felt of he radiator made sure her springs were 0.k) almost reminded me of when men name there cars and refer to them as the woman . i thing he was almost trying to seduce us to by the car almost making it seem like having the car will bring sexual desire. In the “COMING HOME DTROIT 1969″by Phillip Levine painted a picture of almost global warming and how maybe the gas is polluting the air ¬†like when he says ( the charred faces ,the eyes boarded up ,the rubble of innards, the cry of wet smoke hanging in your throat. he paints a gloomy winter Tuesday afternoon with fire in the air stuck in traffic almots like having to beat the concreate¬†everyday.


Both poem author used a car to convey a specific meaning but, each authors was talking about something different. The one by E.E. Cumming, he used a car to convey a sexual message. Car in general is fast, it’s energetic, it’s gets you from one place to the next. The way he incorporated that into a sexual meaning because he wanted to emphasis the excitement of sexual interaction. He quoted that “what the hell next minute i was back in neutral tried and again slowly, barely, nudging”. Generally when a car failed to work, a person have to start again but more slowly and gradually. So what Cumming is trying to say is that during his time with the person, it didn’t start off perfectly. So he slowly gave it a go again with the person like how a person will restart their car if it didn’t start up the first time to well. The one by Levine is more darker than Cumming. He incorporated the used of car as a metaphor to convey the harsh environment he was living in during his time. ¬†Him driving down the street while using car as a metaphor is a way for him to describe the negativity of the industrial era that is effecting the city.


In both e.e cummings, he is describing the car as he;s driving as like having sex with a female companion while in Philip Levine’s poetry he’s describing the environment in Detroit as he’s driving by in his car. In e.e cummings, he’s describing every motion he’s doing to the car such as “having thoroughly oiled the universal…” in reference to what would he sexually do to a woman. In Philip Levine’s, he’s describing the the condition of Detroit during that time period and as he drives by watching cars being built and people covered in black powder and sweat mix together everyday. “The charred faces, the eyes boarded up…” shows the condition working in Detroit.


After reading both poems about a guy riding a car we can tell the difference in tones and how they used metaphors to communicate us a message about what is going on. In the poem by e.e¬†Cummings,¬†its all about¬†excitement¬†, thrill¬†and being happy. The emotion he is having with this woman in the car and being the fact that it is her first time. We can tell this poem is very sexual because in the poem we see metaphors such as “Slipped the clutch” meaning that there is something going on in the car and boy is he happy about it and very aroused. This poem has very positive and good thoughts going in this scene. However the poem by Phillip Levine, the tone of this poem is quite opposite. Very harsh, cold, dark and just a¬†devastated¬†tone and feel to it. In his¬†poem the guy is going to work in his car and thinking how life is and why it is the way it is. An example from the poem that shows this, is “Near the freeway you stop and wonder what came off, recall the snowstorm where you lost it all”. You have a feeling of something¬†unpleasant. We can¬†picture it in our minds that he¬†isn’t¬†happy or¬†excited¬†but the opposite¬†of¬†it. The difference in these poems, is that one shows happiness and having a great time with a partner, while the other is very cold and dark where the feeling is down and this guy is thinking about why his life has to be the way it is.¬†Although¬†they both using a car we can¬†easily¬†see¬†the¬†difference between them, and the way the poem is written.

Cars and metaphors

In the poems “she being brand” and the poem “Coming home, Detroit” both do use car metaphors, but use them differently to achieve them in their own way. In the poem “she being brand” the poet decides to use getting a brand new car as a metaphor for sex to describe the bewilderment of actually getting a new car. Especially how the poet describes the whole endeavor, using innuendos to try to communicate to the audience without bluntly saying it.

In the poem “Coming home, Detroit” the poet uses the car as a metaphor of traveling. of vacuuming space in order for us to take a look at the visual details and not entirely the sound. I believe the poet does accomplish his ideas across. He is also describing what industry has done to the city¬†of Detroit, where the pollution is at an all time high, how other people are being effected and how the car that you are using to go to work is also at fault, its the character’s fault as well.


Both poems describe different cities and feeling you have for different things. e.e.cummings describe the car ride as a metaphor for sex. Crating the visual and sound effects with descriptive actions. Levine describe a city that has been on a bad time with the people in it. Using descriptive vocabulary they both create a scene with words and actions.” new and you know consequently little stiff I was careful on her” describe the brand new car and how he is going to take care of it. in Levine poem we see “” the cry¬†of wet smoke hanging in your throat” is use to describe the feeling of seeing so much being torn apart in the city.


In this class you have now read and discussed two very different poems, ‚Äúshe being Brand‚ÄĚ by e.e. cummings and ‚ÄúComing Home, Detroit, 1968‚ÄĚ by Phillip Levine. Both of these poems describe a man driving through a city, and yet they are each distinct in format, tone, and in what they are trying to express to the reader.

Write a post comparing and contrasting the driving metaphors in these two poems. Using direct evidence from the poems (in the form of quotations), identify what each poet is trying to accomplish with his poem and how he uses the metaphor of a car and driving to communicate.