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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
510632 Humanity i love you Comments and analysis of Humanity i love you by e.e. cummings 559 Comments
143543 Snow Comments and analysis of Snow by e.e. cummings 114 Comments
85693 dying is fine)but Death Comments and analysis of dying is fine)but Death by e.e. cummings 137 Comments
73917 supposing i dreamed this)... (IX) Comments and analysis of supposing i dreamed this)... (IX) by e.e. cummings 20 Comments
72958 maggie and milly and molly and may Comments and analysis of maggie and milly and molly and may by e.e. cummings 412 Comments
70766 i have found what you are like Comments and analysis of i have found what you are like by e.e. cummings 279 Comments
68344 between the breasts Comments and analysis of between the breasts by e.e. cummings 11 Comments
66530 2 little whos Comments and analysis of 2 little whos by e.e. cummings 518 Comments
59069 i shall imagine life Comments and analysis of i shall imagine life by e.e. cummings 10 Comments
56112 All in green went my love riding Comments and analysis of All in green went my love riding by e.e. cummings 52 Comments
55663 am was. Comments and analysis of am was. by e.e. cummings 64 Comments
49134 i am a little church Comments and analysis of i am a little church by e.e. cummings 274 Comments
49051 in spite of everything Comments and analysis of in spite of everything by e.e. cummings 259 Comments
46648 my sweet old etcetera... (X) Comments and analysis of my sweet old etcetera... (X) by e.e. cummings 41 Comments
46424 all which isn't singing is mere talking Comments and analysis of all which isn't singing is mere talking by e.e. cummings 27 Comments
43448 if everything happens that can't be done Comments and analysis of if everything happens that can't be done by e.e. cummings 292 Comments
42620 you said Is (XIII) Comments and analysis of you said Is (XIII) by e.e. cummings 7 Comments
40470 (will you teach a... (12) Comments and analysis of (will you teach a... (12) by e.e. cummings 67 Comments
40205 Sometimes I Am Alive Because With Comments and analysis of Sometimes I Am Alive Because With by e.e. cummings 9 Comments
39748 Little Tree Comments and analysis of Little Tree by e.e. cummings 71 Comments
39418 Buffalo Bill's Comments and analysis of Buffalo Bill's by e.e. cummings 415 Comments
39123 nobody loses all the time (X) Comments and analysis of nobody loses all the time (X) by e.e. cummings 32 Comments
36523 your little voice... (I) Comments and analysis of your little voice... (I) by e.e. cummings 57 Comments
35849 in a middle of a room Comments and analysis of in a middle of a room by e.e. cummings 70 Comments
33945 but if a living dance upon dead minds Comments and analysis of but if a living dance upon dead minds by e.e. cummings 67 Comments
33366 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 301 Comments
32107 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 13 Comments
31599 pity this busy monster,manunkind... (XIV) Comments and analysis of pity this busy monster,manunkind... (XIV) by e.e. cummings 72 Comments
30976 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 256 Comments
30932 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 7 Comments
30931 silence... (40) Comments and analysis of silence... (40) by e.e. cummings 11 Comments
30760 i go to this window Comments and analysis of i go to this window by e.e. cummings 6 Comments
29981 once like a spark... (XXIV) Comments and analysis of once like a spark... (XXIV) by e.e. cummings 2 Comments
28562 nothing false and possible is love... (XXXIV) Comments and analysis of nothing false and possible is love... (XXXIV) by e.e. cummings 7 Comments
28465 I Am A Beggar Always Comments and analysis of I Am A Beggar Always by e.e. cummings 261 Comments
28066 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 326 Comments
27807 enter no Comments and analysis of enter no by e.e. cummings 9 Comments
27125 Thy fingers make early flowers of... (IV) Comments and analysis of Thy fingers make early flowers of... (IV) by e.e. cummings 85 Comments
26859 here's to opening and upward Comments and analysis of here's to opening and upward by e.e. cummings 6 Comments
25789 when god lets my body be Comments and analysis of when god lets my body be by e.e. cummings 76 Comments
25733 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 47 Comments
24800 gee i like to think of dead Comments and analysis of gee i like to think of dead by e.e. cummings 280 Comments
24588 Jehovah buried,Satan dead, Comments and analysis of Jehovah buried,Satan dead, by e.e. cummings 319 Comments
24283 voices to voices,lip to lip... (XXXIII) Comments and analysis of voices to voices,lip to lip... (XXXIII) by e.e. cummings 9 Comments
24179 moan... (7) Comments and analysis of moan... (7) by e.e. cummings 8 Comments
24092 n(o)w... Comments and analysis of n(o)w... by e.e. cummings 23 Comments
23925 hate blows a bubble of despair into Comments and analysis of hate blows a bubble of despair into by e.e. cummings 47 Comments
23439 the Cambridge ladies who live in furnished souls Comments and analysis of the Cambridge ladies who live in furnished souls by e.e. cummings 141 Comments
23082 flotsam and jetsam Comments and analysis of flotsam and jetsam by e.e. cummings 1 Comment
22843 Fame Speaks Comments and analysis of Fame Speaks by e.e. cummings 12 Comments
22121 INTRODUCTION from New Poems Comments and analysis of INTRODUCTION from New Poems by e.e. cummings 234 Comments
21861 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
20745 now is a ship... (9) Comments and analysis of now is a ship... (9) by e.e. cummings 261 Comments
20396 now does our world descend... Comments and analysis of now does our world descend... by e.e. cummings 12 Comments
18832 Skating (4) Comments and analysis of Skating (4) by e.e. cummings 8 Comments
18392 a light Out) Comments and analysis of a light Out) by e.e. cummings 3 Comments
18235 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 4 Comments
17685 if i have made,my lady,intricate Comments and analysis of if i have made,my lady,intricate by e.e. cummings 1 Comment
16387 FOREWARD, is 5 Comments and analysis of FOREWARD, is 5 by e.e. cummings 21 Comments
15525 ecco a letter starting"dearest we" Comments and analysis of ecco a letter starting 2 Comments
15520 there are so many tictoc... Comments and analysis of there are so many tictoc... by e.e. cummings 8 Comments
14920 fl... (2) Comments and analysis of fl... (2) by e.e. cummings 81 Comments
13475 six... (21) Comments and analysis of six... (21) by e.e. cummings 2 Comments
12622 spring omnipotent goddess Thou Comments and analysis of spring omnipotent goddess Thou by e.e. cummings 18 Comments
12360 kumrads die because they're told) Comments and analysis of kumrads die because they're told) by e.e. cummings 7 Comments
12308 spoke joe to jack... (10) Comments and analysis of spoke joe to jack... (10) by e.e. cummings 4 Comments
12260 yonder deadfromtheneckup graduate... (V) Comments and analysis of yonder deadfromtheneckup graduate... (V) by e.e. cummings 7 Comments
11335 this(let's remember)day died again and...
10866 this evangelist... (XXIX) Comments and analysis of this evangelist... (XXIX) by e.e. cummings 217 Comments
10433 suppose... (VIII) Comments and analysis of suppose... (VIII) by e.e. cummings 56 Comments
10267 why did you go... (IV) Comments and analysis of why did you go... (IV) by e.e. cummings 243 Comments
10167 ordinary wind is winding(cold face blush Comments and analysis of ordinary wind is winding(cold face blush by e.e. cummings 1 Comment
9244 speaking of love(of... (LV) Comments and analysis of speaking of love(of... (LV) by e.e. cummings 4 Comments
8416 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
7605 yes is a pleasant country... (XXXVIII) Comments and analysis of yes is a pleasant country... (XXXVIII) by e.e. cummings 10 Comments
7491 you shall above all things... (22) Comments and analysis of you shall above all things... (22) by e.e. cummings 28 Comments
7484 (and i imagine... (XII) Comments and analysis of (and i imagine... (XII) by e.e. cummings 229 Comments
7093 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
6239 of all the blessings which to man... (IV) Comments and analysis of of all the blessings which to man... (IV) by e.e. cummings 33 Comments
6006 !blac... (1) Comments and analysis of !blac... (1) by e.e. cummings 685 Comments
5214 in Just- Comments and analysis of in Just- by e.e. cummings 775 Comments
5194 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
4853 proud of his scientific attitude... (13) Comments and analysis of proud of his scientific attitude... (13) by e.e. cummings 3 Comments
3857 somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond Comments and analysis of somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond by e.e. cummings 264 Comments
3533 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 96 Comments
3523 i carry your heart with me Comments and analysis of i carry your heart with me by e.e. cummings 831 Comments
3430 (Me up at does) Comments and analysis of (Me up at does) by e.e. cummings 144 Comments
3395 my mind is... (XXV) Comments and analysis of my mind is... (XXV) by e.e. cummings 31 Comments
3316 Seeker Of Truth Comments and analysis of Seeker Of Truth by e.e. cummings 35 Comments
3306 next to of course god america i... (III) Comments and analysis of next to of course god america i... (III) by e.e. cummings 377 Comments
3014 1(a... (a leaf falls on loneliness) Comments and analysis of 1(a... (a leaf falls on loneliness) by e.e. cummings 265 Comments
2928 nobody loved this... (4) Comments and analysis of nobody loved this... (4) by e.e. cummings 9 Comments
2885 in time of daffodils Comments and analysis of in time of daffodils by e.e. cummings 49 Comments
2861 Marianne Moore (35) Comments and analysis of Marianne Moore (35) by e.e. cummings 1 Comment
2822 Epithalamion Comments and analysis of Epithalamion by e.e. cummings 7 Comments
2802 she being Brand... (XIX) Comments and analysis of she being Brand... (XIX) by e.e. cummings 96 Comments
2601 "Gay" is the captivating cognomen Comments and analysis of 324 Comments
2530 because i love you)last night Comments and analysis of because i love you)last night by e.e. cummings 8 Comments
2452 a pretty a day Comments and analysis of a pretty a day by e.e. cummings 10 Comments
2428 i sing of Olaf glad and big Comments and analysis of i sing of Olaf glad and big by e.e. cummings 298 Comments
2385 since feeling is first... (VII) Comments and analysis of since feeling is first... (VII) by e.e. cummings 423 Comments
2338 it may not always be so Comments and analysis of it may not always be so by e.e. cummings 108 Comments
2295 a man who had fallen among thieves Comments and analysis of a man who had fallen among thieves by e.e. cummings 115 Comments
2191 it is at moments after I have dreamed Comments and analysis of it is at moments after I have dreamed by e.e. cummings 82 Comments
2180 i am so glad and very Comments and analysis of i am so glad and very by e.e. cummings 275 Comments
2075 all ignorance toboggans into know Comments and analysis of all ignorance toboggans into know by e.e. cummings 265 Comments
2058 if there are any heavens my mother will Comments and analysis of if there are any heavens my mother will by e.e. cummings 36 Comments
2010 as freedom is a breakfastfood Comments and analysis of as freedom is a breakfastfood by e.e. cummings 22 Comments
1930 a total stranger one black day Comments and analysis of a total stranger one black day by e.e. cummings 18 Comments
1901 because it's Comments and analysis of because it's by e.e. cummings 11 Comments
1773 love is a place... (58) Comments and analysis of love is a place... (58) by e.e. cummings 20 Comments
1755 my love is building a building... (XII) Comments and analysis of my love is building a building... (XII) by e.e. cummings 4 Comments
1638 here is little Effie's head Comments and analysis of here is little Effie's head by e.e. cummings 30 Comments
1636 if you like my poems let them Comments and analysis of if you like my poems let them by e.e. cummings 116 Comments
1578 may i feel said he Comments and analysis of may i feel said he by e.e. cummings 173 Comments
1578 O sweet spontaneous Comments and analysis of O sweet spontaneous by e.e. cummings 5 Comments
1509 into the strenuous briefness Comments and analysis of into the strenuous briefness by e.e. cummings 201 Comments
1509 into the strenuous briefness
1497 Poem, Or Beauty Hurts Mr. Vinal Comments and analysis of Poem, Or Beauty Hurts Mr. Vinal by e.e. cummings 268 Comments
1472 lily has a rose Comments and analysis of lily has a rose by e.e. cummings 6 Comments
1466 my father moved through dooms of love Comments and analysis of my father moved through dooms of love by e.e. cummings 90 Comments
1459 )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
1450 Picasso... (XXIII) Comments and analysis of Picasso... (XXIII) by e.e. cummings 9 Comments
1358 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
1340 Tumbling-hair/ picker of buttercups/ violets... (V) Comments and analysis of Tumbling-hair/ picker of buttercups/ violets... (V) by e.e. cummings 268 Comments
1321 Doveglion Comments and analysis of Doveglion by e.e. cummings 54 Comments
1288 anyone lived in a pretty how town Comments and analysis of anyone lived in a pretty how town by e.e. cummings 910 Comments
1276 guilt is the cause of more disorders Comments and analysis of guilt is the cause of more disorders by e.e. cummings 6 Comments
1261 up into the silence the green... (41) Comments and analysis of up into the silence the green... (41) by e.e. cummings 6 Comments
1212 but the other Comments and analysis of but the other by e.e. cummings 7 Comments
1205 red-rag and pink-flag... (11) Comments and analysis of red-rag and pink-flag... (11) by e.e. cummings 6 Comments
1197 listen... (III) Comments and analysis of listen... (III) by e.e. cummings 7 Comments
1188 mrs... (15)
1127 now what were motionless move(exists no... (89) Comments and analysis of now what were motionless move(exists no... (89) by e.e. cummings 26 Comments
1073 i thank you God for most this amazing Comments and analysis of i thank you God for most this amazing by e.e. cummings 347 Comments
1062 dead every enourmous piece Comments and analysis of dead every enourmous piece by e.e. cummings 15 Comments
1050 who sharpens every dull... (26) Comments and analysis of who sharpens every dull... (26) by e.e. cummings 2 Comments
938 l(a Comments and analysis of l(a by e.e. cummings 30 Comments
913 Where's Madge then, Comments and analysis of Where's Madge then, by e.e. cummings 2 Comments
864 warped this perhapsy... (9) Comments and analysis of warped this perhapsy... (9) by e.e. cummings 8 Comments
841 but mr can you maybe listen there's Comments and analysis of but mr can you maybe listen there's by e.e. cummings 272 Comments
586 you being in love... (XII) Comments and analysis of you being in love... (XII) by e.e. cummings 280 Comments
559 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 88 Comments
559 buy me an ounce and i'll sell you a pound.
543 who knows if the moon's... (VII) Comments and analysis of who knows if the moon's... (VII) by e.e. cummings 324 Comments
474 youful... (17) Comments and analysis of youful... (17) by e.e. cummings 41 Comments
337 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 34 Comments
313 Of Nicolette Comments and analysis of Of Nicolette by e.e. cummings 3 Comments
210 there is a here and... (19)
188 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 384 Comments
116 Now i lay(with everywhere around)... (44) Comments and analysis of Now i lay(with everywhere around)... (44) by e.e. cummings 9 Comments
104 Spring is like a perhaps hand Comments and analysis of Spring is like a perhaps hand by e.e. cummings 64 Comments
51 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 91 Comments
50 the boys i mean are not refined Comments and analysis of the boys i mean are not refined by e.e. cummings 318 Comments
25 when life is quite through with... (II) Comments and analysis of when life is quite through with... (II) by e.e. cummings 3 Comments


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