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Tabi White Indiana University / United States, Female, 39
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    • POEM: Buffalo Bill by Edward Estlin Cummings (9/3/2009 12:01:00 AM)

      As to the nature of what significance the use of 'Jesus' holds in the overall prose of this piece, I think one can think of this as the exclamatory response that one would have in reply to having seen Buffalo Bill just shot down five clay pigeons. That 'Jesus' is located at the end of the line is a graphical representation of just how this would be said to one's self, a lingering afterthought we would mutter to ourselves - most especially as this voyeuristic relationship was precisely what society had as we watched on as a culture admiring Bill and mythologizing his exploits.

      Equally, the reference to 'handsome' seems less nebulous when accounting for the speed of the delivery of these lines as they have been building up throughout, making use of the elision of spaces Mr. Hoellering points out. The vocative tone is accusatory of the diabolical plans of Death and lashes out to chastise Death for having taken an iconic cultural hero. Bill's handsomeness is only fodder that fuels the outrage that this poem ends with in the accusation put to Death that he neither not need nor wants the hero that Buffalo Bill was to that bygone era of nostalgia.