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Biography of e.e. cummings

e.e. cummings

e.e. cummings (1894 - 1962)

Cummings was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to liberal, indulgent parents who from early on encouraged him to develop his creative gifts. While at Harvard, where his father had taught before becoming a Unitarian minister, he delivered a daring commencement address on modernist artistic innovations, thus announcing the direction his own work would take. In 1917, after working briefly for a mail-order publishing company, the only regular employment in his career, Cummings volunteered to serve in the Norton-Harjes Ambulance group in France. Here he and a friend were imprisoned (on false grounds) for three months in a French detention camp. The Enormous Room (1922), his witty and absorbing account of the experience, was also the first of his literary attacks on authoritarianism. Eimi (1933), a later travel journal, focused with much less successful results on the collectivized Soviet Union.

At the end of the First World War Cummings went to Paris to study art. On his return to New York in 1924 he found himself a celebrity, both for The Enormous Room and for Tulips and Chimneys (1923), his first collection of poetry (for which his old classmate John Dos Passos had finally found a publisher). Clearly influenced by Gertrude Stein's syntactical and Amy Lowell's imagistic experiments, Cummings's early poems had nevertheless discovered an original way of describing the chaotic immediacy of sensuous experience. The games they play with language (adverbs functioning as nouns, for instance) and lyric form combine with their deliberately simplistic view of the world (the individual and spontaneity versus collectivism and rational thought) to give them the gleeful and precocious tone which became, a hallmark of his work. Love poems, satirical squibs, and descriptive nature poems would always be his favoured forms.

A roving assignment from Vanity Fair in 1926 allowed Cummings to travel again and to establish his lifelong routine: painting in the afternoons and writing at night. In 1931 he published a collection of drawings and paintings, CIOPW (its title an acronym for the materials used: charcoal, ink, oil, pencil, watercolour), and over the next three decades had many individual shows in New York. He enjoyed a long and happy third marriage to the photographer Marion Morehouse, with whom he collaborated on Adventures in Value (1962), and in later life divided his time between their apartment in New York and his family's farm in New Hampshire. His many later books of poetry, from VV (1931) and No Thanks (1935) to Xaipe (1950) and 95 Poems (1958), took his formal experiments and his war on the scientific attitude to new extremes, but showed little substantial development.

Cummings's critical reputation has never matched his popularity. The left-wing critics of the 1930s were only the first to dismiss his work as sentimental and politically na´ve. His supporters, however, find value not only in its verbal and visual inventiveness but also in its mystical and anarchistic beliefs. The two-volume Complete Poems, ed. George James Firmage (New York and London, 1981) is the standard edition of his poetry, and Dreams in a Mirror, by Richard S. Kennedy (New York, 1980) the standard biography. e. e. cummings: The Art of His Poetry, by Norman Friedman (Baltimore and London, 1960) is still among the best critical studies of his poetic techniques.



153 Poems written by e.e. cummings

The poems are by default sorted according to volume, but you can also choose to sort them alphabetically or by page views.

Volume | Alphabetically | [Page Views] | Comments | First Lines


Page ViewsPoemComments
139190 Snow Comments and analysis of Snow by e.e. cummings 103 Comments
82515 dying is fine)but Death Comments and analysis of dying is fine)but Death by e.e. cummings 126 Comments
71357 maggie and milly and molly and may Comments and analysis of maggie and milly and molly and may by e.e. cummings 392 Comments
71294 supposing i dreamed this)... (IX) Comments and analysis of supposing i dreamed this)... (IX) by e.e. cummings 19 Comments
70354 Humanity i love you Comments and analysis of Humanity i love you by e.e. cummings 506 Comments
68247 i have found what you are like Comments and analysis of i have found what you are like by e.e. cummings 258 Comments
66385 between the breasts Comments and analysis of between the breasts by e.e. cummings 10 Comments
64718 r-p-o-p-h-e-s-s-a-g-r Comments and analysis of r-p-o-p-h-e-s-s-a-g-r by e.e. cummings 365 Comments
64482 2 little whos Comments and analysis of 2 little whos by e.e. cummings 481 Comments
56849 i shall imagine life Comments and analysis of i shall imagine life by e.e. cummings 9 Comments
54355 All in green went my love riding Comments and analysis of All in green went my love riding by e.e. cummings 43 Comments
53881 am was. Comments and analysis of am was. by e.e. cummings 58 Comments
51626 you being in love... (XII) Comments and analysis of you being in love... (XII) by e.e. cummings 266 Comments
51265 l(a Comments and analysis of l(a by e.e. cummings 27 Comments
47617 in spite of everything Comments and analysis of in spite of everything by e.e. cummings 243 Comments
47329 i am a little church Comments and analysis of i am a little church by e.e. cummings 258 Comments
45788 my sweet old etcetera... (X) Comments and analysis of my sweet old etcetera... (X) by e.e. cummings 34 Comments
45148 all which isn't singing is mere talking Comments and analysis of all which isn't singing is mere talking by e.e. cummings 22 Comments
42684 the boys i mean are not refined Comments and analysis of the boys i mean are not refined by e.e. cummings 298 Comments
42569 if everything happens that can't be done Comments and analysis of if everything happens that can't be done by e.e. cummings 277 Comments
41629 you said Is (XIII) Comments and analysis of you said Is (XIII) by e.e. cummings 4 Comments
39524 Sometimes I Am Alive Because With Comments and analysis of Sometimes I Am Alive Because With by e.e. cummings 6 Comments
39422 (will you teach a... (12) Comments and analysis of (will you teach a... (12) by e.e. cummings 52 Comments
39016 Little Tree Comments and analysis of Little Tree by e.e. cummings 60 Comments
38788 who knows if the moon's... (VII) Comments and analysis of who knows if the moon's... (VII) by e.e. cummings 299 Comments
38573 Buffalo Bill's Comments and analysis of Buffalo Bill's by e.e. cummings 399 Comments
38305 nobody loses all the time (X) Comments and analysis of nobody loses all the time (X) by e.e. cummings 27 Comments
35342 your little voice... (I) Comments and analysis of your little voice... (I) by e.e. cummings 52 Comments
34911 in a middle of a room Comments and analysis of in a middle of a room by e.e. cummings 60 Comments
33064 but if a living dance upon dead minds Comments and analysis of but if a living dance upon dead minds by e.e. cummings 61 Comments
32607 the way to hump a cow is not... (14) Comments and analysis of the way to hump a cow is not... (14) by e.e. cummings 284 Comments
31401 my girl's tall with hard long eyes... (XIX) Comments and analysis of my girl's tall with hard long eyes... (XIX) by e.e. cummings 12 Comments
30565 pity this busy monster,manunkind... (XIV) Comments and analysis of pity this busy monster,manunkind... (XIV) by e.e. cummings 63 Comments
30214 one's not half two. It's two are halves of one: Comments and analysis of one's not half two. It's two are halves of one: by e.e. cummings 243 Comments
30030 silence... (40) Comments and analysis of silence... (40) by e.e. cummings 8 Comments
29972 i go to this window Comments and analysis of i go to this window by e.e. cummings 6 Comments
29309 this is the garden: colours come and go,... (IX) Comments and analysis of this is the garden: colours come and go,... (IX) by e.e. cummings 4 Comments
28994 once like a spark... (XXIV) Comments and analysis of once like a spark... (XXIV) by e.e. cummings 2 Comments
28009 Spring is like a perhaps hand Comments and analysis of Spring is like a perhaps hand by e.e. cummings 61 Comments
27858 nothing false and possible is love... (XXXIV) Comments and analysis of nothing false and possible is love... (XXXIV) by e.e. cummings 7 Comments
27657 I Am A Beggar Always Comments and analysis of I Am A Beggar Always by e.e. cummings 248 Comments
27044 what if a much of a which of a wind... (XX) Comments and analysis of what if a much of a which of a wind... (XX) by e.e. cummings 297 Comments
26806 enter no Comments and analysis of enter no by e.e. cummings 9 Comments
26130 Thy fingers make early flowers of... (IV) Comments and analysis of Thy fingers make early flowers of... (IV) by e.e. cummings 81 Comments
26020 here's to opening and upward Comments and analysis of here's to opening and upward by e.e. cummings 4 Comments
24953 when god lets my body be Comments and analysis of when god lets my body be by e.e. cummings 64 Comments
24662 buy me an ounce and i'll sell you a pound. Comments and analysis of buy me an ounce and i'll sell you a pound. by e.e. cummings 84 Comments
24662 buy me an ounce and i'll sell you a pound.
23958 gee i like to think of dead Comments and analysis of gee i like to think of dead by e.e. cummings 258 Comments
23749 Jehovah buried,Satan dead, Comments and analysis of Jehovah buried,Satan dead, by e.e. cummings 298 Comments
23724 if I should sleep with a lady called death Comments and analysis of if I should sleep with a lady called death by e.e. cummings 42 Comments
23642 moan... (7) Comments and analysis of moan... (7) by e.e. cummings 8 Comments
23465 voices to voices,lip to lip... (XXXIII) Comments and analysis of voices to voices,lip to lip... (XXXIII) by e.e. cummings 4 Comments
23404 n(o)w... Comments and analysis of n(o)w... by e.e. cummings 21 Comments
23185 hate blows a bubble of despair into Comments and analysis of hate blows a bubble of despair into by e.e. cummings 41 Comments
22721 the Cambridge ladies who live in furnished souls Comments and analysis of the Cambridge ladies who live in furnished souls by e.e. cummings 129 Comments
22390 flotsam and jetsam Comments and analysis of flotsam and jetsam by e.e. cummings 1 Comment
22061 Fame Speaks Comments and analysis of Fame Speaks by e.e. cummings 7 Comments
21172 If you can't eat you got to Comments and analysis of If you can't eat you got to by e.e. cummings 3 Comments
21140 INTRODUCTION from New Poems Comments and analysis of INTRODUCTION from New Poems by e.e. cummings 226 Comments
20275 but mr can you maybe listen there's Comments and analysis of but mr can you maybe listen there's by e.e. cummings 252 Comments
20266 when serpents bargain for the right to squirm... (22) Comments and analysis of when serpents bargain for the right to squirm... (22) by e.e. cummings 14 Comments
19917 now is a ship... (9) Comments and analysis of now is a ship... (9) by e.e. cummings 247 Comments
19664 now does our world descend... Comments and analysis of now does our world descend... by e.e. cummings 9 Comments
18825 Now i lay(with everywhere around)... (44) Comments and analysis of Now i lay(with everywhere around)... (44) by e.e. cummings 8 Comments
18311 Skating (4) Comments and analysis of Skating (4) by e.e. cummings 6 Comments
17864 a light Out) Comments and analysis of a light Out) by e.e. cummings 3 Comments
17557 a clown's smirk in the skull of a baboon Comments and analysis of a clown's smirk in the skull of a baboon by e.e. cummings 3 Comments
16825 if i have made,my lady,intricate Comments and analysis of if i have made,my lady,intricate by e.e. cummings 1 Comment
16500 there is a here and... (19)
16256 when life is quite through with... (II) Comments and analysis of when life is quite through with... (II) by e.e. cummings 3 Comments
15602 FOREWARD, is 5 Comments and analysis of FOREWARD, is 5 by e.e. cummings 18 Comments
15084 ecco a letter starting"dearest we" Comments and analysis of ecco a letter starting 2 Comments
14876 there are so many tictoc... Comments and analysis of there are so many tictoc... by e.e. cummings 7 Comments
14252 fl... (2) Comments and analysis of fl... (2) by e.e. cummings 65 Comments
13039 six... (21) Comments and analysis of six... (21) by e.e. cummings 2 Comments
11980 spring omnipotent goddess Thou Comments and analysis of spring omnipotent goddess Thou by e.e. cummings 16 Comments
11788 spoke joe to jack... (10) Comments and analysis of spoke joe to jack... (10) by e.e. cummings 4 Comments
11723 kumrads die because they're told) Comments and analysis of kumrads die because they're told) by e.e. cummings 7 Comments
11657 yonder deadfromtheneckup graduate... (V) Comments and analysis of yonder deadfromtheneckup graduate... (V) by e.e. cummings 3 Comments
10831 this(let's remember)day died again and...
10389 this evangelist... (XXIX) Comments and analysis of this evangelist... (XXIX) by e.e. cummings 207 Comments
9753 suppose... (VIII) Comments and analysis of suppose... (VIII) by e.e. cummings 50 Comments
9677 ordinary wind is winding(cold face blush Comments and analysis of ordinary wind is winding(cold face blush by e.e. cummings 1 Comment
9523 why did you go... (IV) Comments and analysis of why did you go... (IV) by e.e. cummings 225 Comments
9047 Marianne Moore (35) Comments and analysis of Marianne Moore (35) by e.e. cummings 1 Comment
8658 speaking of love(of... (LV) Comments and analysis of speaking of love(of... (LV) by e.e. cummings 4 Comments
7963 when hair falls off and eyes blur And... (L) Comments and analysis of when hair falls off and eyes blur And... (L) by e.e. cummings 2 Comments
7057 yes is a pleasant country... (XXXVIII) Comments and analysis of yes is a pleasant country... (XXXVIII) by e.e. cummings 9 Comments
7005 (and i imagine... (XII) Comments and analysis of (and i imagine... (XII) by e.e. cummings 219 Comments
6953 you shall above all things... (22) Comments and analysis of you shall above all things... (22) by e.e. cummings 21 Comments
6680 i carry your heart with me Comments and analysis of i carry your heart with me by e.e. cummings 805 Comments
6644 the Noster was a ship of swank... (8) Comments and analysis of the Noster was a ship of swank... (8) by e.e. cummings 3 Comments
6263 youful... (17) Comments and analysis of youful... (17) by e.e. cummings 38 Comments
5642 of all the blessings which to man... (IV) Comments and analysis of of all the blessings which to man... (IV) by e.e. cummings 31 Comments
5425 !blac... (1) Comments and analysis of !blac... (1) by e.e. cummings 662 Comments
4956 proud of his scientific attitude... (13) Comments and analysis of proud of his scientific attitude... (13) by e.e. cummings 3 Comments
4792 when faces called flowers float out of the ground... (67) Comments and analysis of when faces called flowers float out of the ground... (67) by e.e. cummings 5 Comments
2926 in Just- Comments and analysis of in Just- by e.e. cummings 724 Comments
2483 Of Nicolette Comments and analysis of Of Nicolette by e.e. cummings 3 Comments
2218 somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond Comments and analysis of somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond by e.e. cummings 253 Comments
2143 i like my body when it is with your Comments and analysis of i like my body when it is with your by e.e. cummings 89 Comments
2013 next to of course god america i... (III) Comments and analysis of next to of course god america i... (III) by e.e. cummings 366 Comments
1986 i thank you God for most this amazing Comments and analysis of i thank you God for most this amazing by e.e. cummings 312 Comments
1854 (Me up at does) Comments and analysis of (Me up at does) by e.e. cummings 139 Comments
1649 Seeker Of Truth Comments and analysis of Seeker Of Truth by e.e. cummings 32 Comments
1619 anyone lived in a pretty how town Comments and analysis of anyone lived in a pretty how town by e.e. cummings 872 Comments
1478 1(a... (a leaf falls on loneliness) Comments and analysis of 1(a... (a leaf falls on loneliness) by e.e. cummings 250 Comments
1473 Epithalamion Comments and analysis of Epithalamion by e.e. cummings 2 Comments
1434 she being Brand... (XIX) Comments and analysis of she being Brand... (XIX) by e.e. cummings 92 Comments
1381 in time of daffodils Comments and analysis of in time of daffodils by e.e. cummings 38 Comments
1342 because i love you)last night Comments and analysis of because i love you)last night by e.e. cummings 7 Comments
1315 "Gay" is the captivating cognomen Comments and analysis of 249 Comments
1304 nobody loved this... (4) Comments and analysis of nobody loved this... (4) by e.e. cummings 7 Comments
1221 since feeling is first... (VII) Comments and analysis of since feeling is first... (VII) by e.e. cummings 408 Comments
1219 a pretty a day Comments and analysis of a pretty a day by e.e. cummings 10 Comments
1206 it may not always be so Comments and analysis of it may not always be so by e.e. cummings 98 Comments
1144 i sing of Olaf glad and big Comments and analysis of i sing of Olaf glad and big by e.e. cummings 283 Comments
1094 it is at moments after I have dreamed Comments and analysis of it is at moments after I have dreamed by e.e. cummings 75 Comments
1086 may my heart always be open to little... (19) Comments and analysis of may my heart always be open to little... (19) by e.e. cummings 90 Comments
1069 a man who had fallen among thieves Comments and analysis of a man who had fallen among thieves by e.e. cummings 103 Comments
1068 i am so glad and very Comments and analysis of i am so glad and very by e.e. cummings 253 Comments
1053 if there are any heavens my mother will Comments and analysis of if there are any heavens my mother will by e.e. cummings 26 Comments
1047 all ignorance toboggans into know Comments and analysis of all ignorance toboggans into know by e.e. cummings 254 Comments
1043 as freedom is a breakfastfood Comments and analysis of as freedom is a breakfastfood by e.e. cummings 13 Comments
911 my love is building a building... (XII) Comments and analysis of my love is building a building... (XII) by e.e. cummings 3 Comments
896 love is a place... (58) Comments and analysis of love is a place... (58) by e.e. cummings 14 Comments
864 if you like my poems let them Comments and analysis of if you like my poems let them by e.e. cummings 106 Comments
861 because it's Comments and analysis of because it's by e.e. cummings 5 Comments
850 a total stranger one black day Comments and analysis of a total stranger one black day by e.e. cummings 16 Comments
820 O sweet spontaneous Comments and analysis of O sweet spontaneous by e.e. cummings 5 Comments
747 lily has a rose Comments and analysis of lily has a rose by e.e. cummings 6 Comments
741 my mind is... (XXV) Comments and analysis of my mind is... (XXV) by e.e. cummings 23 Comments
737 into the strenuous briefness Comments and analysis of into the strenuous briefness by e.e. cummings 197 Comments
737 into the strenuous briefness
728 )when what hugs stopping earth than silent is... (16) Comments and analysis of )when what hugs stopping earth than silent is... (16) by e.e. cummings 13 Comments
728 my father moved through dooms of love Comments and analysis of my father moved through dooms of love by e.e. cummings 80 Comments
702 here is little Effie's head Comments and analysis of here is little Effie's head by e.e. cummings 21 Comments
655 Tumbling-hair/ picker of buttercups/ violets... (V) Comments and analysis of Tumbling-hair/ picker of buttercups/ violets... (V) by e.e. cummings 262 Comments
623 Doveglion Comments and analysis of Doveglion by e.e. cummings 51 Comments
622 mr youse needn't be so spry... (XVIII) Comments and analysis of mr youse needn't be so spry... (XVIII) by e.e. cummings 63 Comments
615 Picasso... (XXIII) Comments and analysis of Picasso... (XXIII) by e.e. cummings 8 Comments
608 up into the silence the green... (41) Comments and analysis of up into the silence the green... (41) by e.e. cummings 6 Comments
600 Poem, Or Beauty Hurts Mr. Vinal Comments and analysis of Poem, Or Beauty Hurts Mr. Vinal by e.e. cummings 249 Comments
584 red-rag and pink-flag... (11) Comments and analysis of red-rag and pink-flag... (11) by e.e. cummings 5 Comments
584 guilt is the cause of more disorders Comments and analysis of guilt is the cause of more disorders by e.e. cummings 5 Comments
581 but the other Comments and analysis of but the other by e.e. cummings 6 Comments
541 who sharpens every dull... (26) Comments and analysis of who sharpens every dull... (26) by e.e. cummings 2 Comments
507 now what were motionless move(exists no... (89) Comments and analysis of now what were motionless move(exists no... (89) by e.e. cummings 21 Comments
500 listen... (III) Comments and analysis of listen... (III) by e.e. cummings 4 Comments
481 dead every enourmous piece Comments and analysis of dead every enourmous piece by e.e. cummings 10 Comments
418 warped this perhapsy... (9) Comments and analysis of warped this perhapsy... (9) by e.e. cummings 5 Comments
409 Where's Madge then, Comments and analysis of Where's Madge then, by e.e. cummings 2 Comments
399 mrs... (15)
10 may i feel said he Comments and analysis of may i feel said he by e.e. cummings 158 Comments


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