Parallelism in E.E. Cummings’ poetry: The research of foregrounding



foregroundin, stylistic analysis, linguistic parallelism, poetry, E. E. Cummings


Following the introduction of the ideas of Russian Formalists and Prague Structuralists, the foregrounding theory appeared as a new paradigm, based on linguistic models that claimed to provide insight into poetic technique and gain a grasp of the effects generated by this technique in the readers. Thus the article focuses on the analysis of stylistic tools to create the foregrounding effect in the poems by E. E. Cummings. The famous American poet, essayist, playwright and painter, he is famous for his very special style of writing and poetic innovations as he skilfully used various types of foregrounding in his poems, and therefore attracted scholarly attention. Hence, in this article the authors offer the outline of theoretical background of foregrounding research as they systematize different approaches to research in the area. On a practical note, the article details the issue of linguistic parallelism as a way to create the foregrounding effect. The authors hold that parallelism can occur at different language levels: morphological, phonological, syntactic, grammatical and lexical. In E.E. Cummings’s poems it is predominantly created by means of anaphora, epistrophe, asyndeton and parallel constructions per se and is in itself a powerful tool to generate an effect on readers

Author Biography

А. Chesnokova, Borys Grinchenko Kyiv University

Anna Chesnokova holds an MA in English and French Philology (Kyiv National Linguistic University, 1991) and a PhD in Comparative Literary Studies (Taras Shevchenko Kyiv National University, 1999). She is Professor of English Philology at Borys Grinchenko Kyiv University, Ukraine. She has published on Stylistics and Empirical Studies of Literature. Her publications include Acting & Connecting. Cultural Approaches to Language and Literature (co-edited with S. Zyngier and V. Viana, LIT Verlag, 2007), Directions in Empirical Literary Studies (co-edited with S. Zyngier, M. Bortolussi, and J. Auracher, John Benjamins, 2008), chapters for The International Reception of Emily Dickinson(Continuum Press, 2009), Cases on Distance Delivery and Learning Outcomes: Emerging Trends and Programs (with V. Viana, S. Zyngier and W. van Peer, IGI Global, 2009), Teaching Stylistics(with W. van Peer and S. Zyngier, Palgrave Macmillan, 2011) and Scientific Approaches to Literature in Learning Environments (John Benjamins, 2016).


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