the hours rise up putting off stars and it is dawn
– The use of synecdoche through the word ‘hours’ induces the effect of the day seeming to be extended, this also avoids using the word ‘morning’ which would have had positive connotations associated with it- Metaphor on the word ‘stars’ as a symbol for dreams, suggests that daytime brings work and prohibits dreaming as such
the city wakes with a song upon her mouth having death in her eyes
– The personification of the city represents the masses of individuals.- There is a juxtaposition in the function of the eyes and mouth, representing the soul (and the capacity to dream when they’re shut), and action respectively. This juxtaposition demonstrates the discourse present.
the world goes forth to murder dreams…
– “The world” is a metaphor for routine, work, life and the cyclical nature of life that society has enforced on individuals.- The use of the harsh verb, “to murder”, intensifies cummings’ message of the oppression an individual must face from his society in the daytime.- The ellipses and following space gives a moment of pause to consider this message, and evoke the reader’s own opinion,
sleeps with death upon her mouth having a song in her eyes the hours descend, putting on stars….
– An inversion of a previous line in the second stanza, suggesting that the individual is now able to dream and can experience a sense of freedom through the night
in the street of the sky night walks scattering poems
– “poems” act as a symbol for the material of dreams, similar to the use of “stars” throughout the poem.- Suggests a final harmony is restored through the personification of the natural, further suggesting that the natural order is harmonious.