Buffalo Bill’s Poem Summary, Notes And Line By Line Analysis In English By Edward Estlin Cummings


Following the passing of William Fredrick, an American soldier, bison hunter, and showman, as well as the fabled Buffalo Bill Cody, the poem Buffalo Bill’s by E.E. Cummings was published in The Dial in 1920. The poem depicts him as he was and as he is now, after his death. The poem explores multiple interpretations of the meaning and the poet’s perspective on Buffalo Bill, the deceased hero.

The poem can be seen as a show of respect for the man’s heroic character. But if we take a closer look at the poem, we can see that the poet is parodying the conventional heroics of shooting the helpless and armless animals from a safe distance. The reader’s interpretation is left up to him.

About the poet

Edward Estlin Cummings was an American poet, painter, writer, author, and playwright. His name is frequently spelled in lowercase as e cummings. In addition to two autobiographical novels, four plays, and several articles, he produced almost 2,900 poetries. He is frequently considered one of the 20th century’s most significant American poets.


Buffalo Bill ’s
who used to
ride a watersmooth-silver
and break onetwothreefourfive pigeons just like that
he was a handsome man
and what i want to know is
how do you like your blue-eyed boy
Mister Death

The poem’s structure is conventionally experimental. The word “defunct” is used to indicate that Buffalo Bill is deceased. He once rode a white steed that had the appearance of silver and moved smoothly like water. And smash onetwothreefourfive birds precisely like that, the poet writes. The text that takes up less space indicates the incalculable number of dead pigeons that don’t even concern him.

Because Buffalo Bill killed 68 enormous buffalo in a herd as if they were pigeons flying in flocks, when he refers to “pigeons,” he means “buffalo.” He refers to Jesus as if he finds the passing of such a gorgeous guy intolerable. He concludes by stating that he needed to know whether or not “Mister Death” favored the blue-eyed boy. Buffalo Bill is mentioned by him.