E. e. cummings uses formal techniques to portray his feelings in his 1931 poem, "i sing to Olaf glad and big." The meter follows iambic tetrameter throughout the poem, as cummings follows Olaf through his journey. There is end rhyme in the poem, but it follows an unusual pattern. The pattern follows an initial pattern of a abb then follows a pattern where the end rhyme will repeat every four lines, but is not consistent.

In the third stanza, the end rhyme scheme repeats itself every three lines. Cummings does not use correct punctuation, and does not capitalize words in the poem, with the exception of names (God, Christ, Olaf), and in quotes ("'I will not kiss your fucking flag'"). This style emphasizes the words, and does not focus on punctuation and capitalizing, making all the words equally important. The capitalization of the word "I" when Olaf speaks is important because cummings wishes to give the character dignity and a sense of individually.

However, when cummings speaks at the beginning, he does not capitalize the word "I", downplaying his role as the speaker in the poem. Swear words are used in both of the two instances in the poem when Olaf speaks, and cummings uses them appropriately. The words emphasizes Olaf's disgust for the war and the environment around him. Swears are used once more, describing someone as a "yellowsonofabitch." This phrase of words that have been connected downplays the dignity of the president, and makes him sound uneducated, ignorant, and unmerciful. Cummings's style allows him to speak in an uncomplicated yet sophisticated manner.

He connects words that sound be separate, allowing them to fit into his rhythm and meter, and this also mocks the characters in the poem. The "firstclass privates" and the "nations blue eyed pride", even though they were torturing Olaf due to his beliefs. In the end, one of cummings's few uses of punctuation appears when he ways that Olaf is "more brave than me: more blond than you." This blondness makes cummings seem to mock the fact that Americans are stereotypically blond and blue-eyed. Even though Olaf is reluctant to go to war, he is as "American" as any other person, questioning the reader's belief of what an American truly is.