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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
509519 Humanity i love you Comments and analysis of Humanity i love you by e.e. cummings 532 Comments
142767 Snow Comments and analysis of Snow by e.e. cummings 106 Comments
84933 dying is fine)but Death Comments and analysis of dying is fine)but Death by e.e. cummings 127 Comments
73270 supposing i dreamed this)... (IX) Comments and analysis of supposing i dreamed this)... (IX) by e.e. cummings 20 Comments
72560 maggie and milly and molly and may Comments and analysis of maggie and milly and molly and may by e.e. cummings 402 Comments
70185 i have found what you are like Comments and analysis of i have found what you are like by e.e. cummings 270 Comments
67894 between the breasts Comments and analysis of between the breasts by e.e. cummings 11 Comments
66376 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 375 Comments
66138 2 little whos Comments and analysis of 2 little whos by e.e. cummings 499 Comments
58539 i shall imagine life Comments and analysis of i shall imagine life by e.e. cummings 10 Comments
55683 All in green went my love riding Comments and analysis of All in green went my love riding by e.e. cummings 50 Comments
55293 am was. Comments and analysis of am was. by e.e. cummings 61 Comments
48640 in spite of everything Comments and analysis of in spite of everything by e.e. cummings 251 Comments
48621 i am a little church Comments and analysis of i am a little church by e.e. cummings 268 Comments
46351 my sweet old etcetera... (X) Comments and analysis of my sweet old etcetera... (X) by e.e. cummings 39 Comments
46072 all which isn't singing is mere talking Comments and analysis of all which isn't singing is mere talking by e.e. cummings 26 Comments
43632 the boys i mean are not refined Comments and analysis of the boys i mean are not refined by e.e. cummings 309 Comments
43212 if everything happens that can't be done Comments and analysis of if everything happens that can't be done by e.e. cummings 284 Comments
42345 you said Is (XIII) Comments and analysis of you said Is (XIII) by e.e. cummings 6 Comments
40224 (will you teach a... (12) Comments and analysis of (will you teach a... (12) by e.e. cummings 59 Comments
39993 Sometimes I Am Alive Because With Comments and analysis of Sometimes I Am Alive Because With by e.e. cummings 7 Comments
39584 Little Tree Comments and analysis of Little Tree by e.e. cummings 66 Comments
39189 Buffalo Bill's Comments and analysis of Buffalo Bill's by e.e. cummings 406 Comments
38913 nobody loses all the time (X) Comments and analysis of nobody loses all the time (X) by e.e. cummings 31 Comments
36234 your little voice... (I) Comments and analysis of your little voice... (I) by e.e. cummings 56 Comments
35605 in a middle of a room Comments and analysis of in a middle of a room by e.e. cummings 68 Comments
33677 but if a living dance upon dead minds Comments and analysis of but if a living dance upon dead minds by e.e. cummings 65 Comments
33136 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 290 Comments
31903 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
31394 pity this busy monster,manunkind... (XIV) Comments and analysis of pity this busy monster,manunkind... (XIV) by e.e. cummings 67 Comments
30757 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 251 Comments
30709 silence... (40) Comments and analysis of silence... (40) by e.e. cummings 8 Comments
30551 i go to this window Comments and analysis of i go to this window by e.e. cummings 6 Comments
30391 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
29725 once like a spark... (XXIV) Comments and analysis of once like a spark... (XXIV) by e.e. cummings 2 Comments
28529 Spring is like a perhaps hand Comments and analysis of Spring is like a perhaps hand by e.e. cummings 61 Comments
28352 nothing false and possible is love... (XXXIV) Comments and analysis of nothing false and possible is love... (XXXIV) by e.e. cummings 7 Comments
28249 I Am A Beggar Always Comments and analysis of I Am A Beggar Always by e.e. cummings 253 Comments
27788 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 310 Comments
27507 enter no Comments and analysis of enter no by e.e. cummings 9 Comments
26881 Thy fingers make early flowers of... (IV) Comments and analysis of Thy fingers make early flowers of... (IV) by e.e. cummings 83 Comments
26593 here's to opening and upward Comments and analysis of here's to opening and upward by e.e. cummings 6 Comments
25568 when god lets my body be Comments and analysis of when god lets my body be by e.e. cummings 69 Comments
25006 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 45 Comments
24553 gee i like to think of dead Comments and analysis of gee i like to think of dead by e.e. cummings 268 Comments
24362 Jehovah buried,Satan dead, Comments and analysis of Jehovah buried,Satan dead, by e.e. cummings 311 Comments
24029 moan... (7) Comments and analysis of moan... (7) by e.e. cummings 8 Comments
23968 voices to voices,lip to lip... (XXXIII) Comments and analysis of voices to voices,lip to lip... (XXXIII) by e.e. cummings 5 Comments
23886 n(o)w... Comments and analysis of n(o)w... by e.e. cummings 22 Comments
23686 hate blows a bubble of despair into Comments and analysis of hate blows a bubble of despair into by e.e. cummings 43 Comments
23276 the Cambridge ladies who live in furnished souls Comments and analysis of the Cambridge ladies who live in furnished souls by e.e. cummings 138 Comments
22867 flotsam and jetsam Comments and analysis of flotsam and jetsam by e.e. cummings 1 Comment
22620 Fame Speaks Comments and analysis of Fame Speaks by e.e. cummings 7 Comments
21887 INTRODUCTION from New Poems Comments and analysis of INTRODUCTION from New Poems by e.e. cummings 230 Comments
21683 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
20824 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 15 Comments
20490 now is a ship... (9) Comments and analysis of now is a ship... (9) by e.e. cummings 253 Comments
20186 now does our world descend... Comments and analysis of now does our world descend... by e.e. cummings 10 Comments
19317 Now i lay(with everywhere around)... (44) Comments and analysis of Now i lay(with everywhere around)... (44) by e.e. cummings 9 Comments
18696 Skating (4) Comments and analysis of Skating (4) by e.e. cummings 7 Comments
18218 a light Out) Comments and analysis of a light Out) by e.e. cummings 3 Comments
18021 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
17469 if i have made,my lady,intricate Comments and analysis of if i have made,my lady,intricate by e.e. cummings 1 Comment
16649 when life is quite through with... (II) Comments and analysis of when life is quite through with... (II) by e.e. cummings 3 Comments
16187 FOREWARD, is 5 Comments and analysis of FOREWARD, is 5 by e.e. cummings 18 Comments
15390 ecco a letter starting"dearest we" Comments and analysis of ecco a letter starting 2 Comments
15322 there are so many tictoc... Comments and analysis of there are so many tictoc... by e.e. cummings 7 Comments
14745 fl... (2) Comments and analysis of fl... (2) by e.e. cummings 75 Comments
13344 six... (21) Comments and analysis of six... (21) by e.e. cummings 2 Comments
12455 spring omnipotent goddess Thou Comments and analysis of spring omnipotent goddess Thou by e.e. cummings 17 Comments
12191 kumrads die because they're told) Comments and analysis of kumrads die because they're told) by e.e. cummings 7 Comments
12139 spoke joe to jack... (10) Comments and analysis of spoke joe to jack... (10) by e.e. cummings 4 Comments
12044 yonder deadfromtheneckup graduate... (V) Comments and analysis of yonder deadfromtheneckup graduate... (V) by e.e. cummings 6 Comments
11195 this(let's remember)day died again and...
10727 this evangelist... (XXIX) Comments and analysis of this evangelist... (XXIX) by e.e. cummings 213 Comments
10249 suppose... (VIII) Comments and analysis of suppose... (VIII) by e.e. cummings 53 Comments
10044 why did you go... (IV) Comments and analysis of why did you go... (IV) by e.e. cummings 231 Comments
10027 ordinary wind is winding(cold face blush Comments and analysis of ordinary wind is winding(cold face blush by e.e. cummings 1 Comment
9054 speaking of love(of... (LV) Comments and analysis of speaking of love(of... (LV) by e.e. cummings 4 Comments
8284 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
7492 yes is a pleasant country... (XXXVIII) Comments and analysis of yes is a pleasant country... (XXXVIII) by e.e. cummings 10 Comments
7342 you shall above all things... (22) Comments and analysis of you shall above all things... (22) by e.e. cummings 25 Comments
7302 (and i imagine... (XII) Comments and analysis of (and i imagine... (XII) by e.e. cummings 225 Comments
6947 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
6072 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
5804 !blac... (1) Comments and analysis of !blac... (1) by e.e. cummings 674 Comments
5279 proud of his scientific attitude... (13) Comments and analysis of proud of his scientific attitude... (13) by e.e. cummings 3 Comments
5079 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
4916 Of Nicolette Comments and analysis of Of Nicolette by e.e. cummings 3 Comments
4658 in Just- Comments and analysis of in Just- by e.e. cummings 747 Comments
3424 somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond Comments and analysis of somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond by e.e. cummings 257 Comments
3201 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 91 Comments
3048 (Me up at does) Comments and analysis of (Me up at does) by e.e. cummings 141 Comments
2992 next to of course god america i... (III) Comments and analysis of next to of course god america i... (III) by e.e. cummings 374 Comments
2883 Seeker Of Truth Comments and analysis of Seeker Of Truth by e.e. cummings 33 Comments
2695 Marianne Moore (35) Comments and analysis of Marianne Moore (35) by e.e. cummings 1 Comment
2644 1(a... (a leaf falls on loneliness) Comments and analysis of 1(a... (a leaf falls on loneliness) by e.e. cummings 255 Comments
2481 nobody loved this... (4) Comments and analysis of nobody loved this... (4) by e.e. cummings 8 Comments
2478 Epithalamion Comments and analysis of Epithalamion by e.e. cummings 7 Comments
2460 she being Brand... (XIX) Comments and analysis of she being Brand... (XIX) by e.e. cummings 94 Comments
2330 in time of daffodils Comments and analysis of in time of daffodils by e.e. cummings 42 Comments
2294 "Gay" is the captivating cognomen Comments and analysis of 319 Comments
2204 because i love you)last night Comments and analysis of because i love you)last night by e.e. cummings 8 Comments
2167 a pretty a day Comments and analysis of a pretty a day by e.e. cummings 10 Comments
2096 since feeling is first... (VII) Comments and analysis of since feeling is first... (VII) by e.e. cummings 415 Comments
2096 i sing of Olaf glad and big Comments and analysis of i sing of Olaf glad and big by e.e. cummings 292 Comments
2089 i carry your heart with me Comments and analysis of i carry your heart with me by e.e. cummings 824 Comments
2062 it may not always be so Comments and analysis of it may not always be so by e.e. cummings 103 Comments
1970 a man who had fallen among thieves Comments and analysis of a man who had fallen among thieves by e.e. cummings 110 Comments
1882 i am so glad and very Comments and analysis of i am so glad and very by e.e. cummings 269 Comments
1865 it is at moments after I have dreamed Comments and analysis of it is at moments after I have dreamed by e.e. cummings 79 Comments
1829 all ignorance toboggans into know Comments and analysis of all ignorance toboggans into know by e.e. cummings 263 Comments
1802 if there are any heavens my mother will Comments and analysis of if there are any heavens my mother will by e.e. cummings 29 Comments
1801 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
1775 as freedom is a breakfastfood Comments and analysis of as freedom is a breakfastfood by e.e. cummings 15 Comments
1614 because it's Comments and analysis of because it's by e.e. cummings 8 Comments
1564 a total stranger one black day Comments and analysis of a total stranger one black day by e.e. cummings 18 Comments
1547 love is a place... (58) Comments and analysis of love is a place... (58) by e.e. cummings 17 Comments
1524 my love is building a building... (XII) Comments and analysis of my love is building a building... (XII) by e.e. cummings 3 Comments
1402 if you like my poems let them Comments and analysis of if you like my poems let them by e.e. cummings 110 Comments
1373 O sweet spontaneous Comments and analysis of O sweet spontaneous by e.e. cummings 5 Comments
1368 here is little Effie's head Comments and analysis of here is little Effie's head by e.e. cummings 27 Comments
1312 my mind is... (XXV) Comments and analysis of my mind is... (XXV) by e.e. cummings 28 Comments
1288 Poem, Or Beauty Hurts Mr. Vinal Comments and analysis of Poem, Or Beauty Hurts Mr. Vinal by e.e. cummings 260 Comments
1277 lily has a rose Comments and analysis of lily has a rose by e.e. cummings 6 Comments
1272 )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
1266 into the strenuous briefness Comments and analysis of into the strenuous briefness by e.e. cummings 200 Comments
1266 into the strenuous briefness
1234 Picasso... (XXIII) Comments and analysis of Picasso... (XXIII) by e.e. cummings 9 Comments
1219 my father moved through dooms of love Comments and analysis of my father moved through dooms of love by e.e. cummings 83 Comments
1190 may i feel said he Comments and analysis of may i feel said he by e.e. cummings 163 Comments
1171 Tumbling-hair/ picker of buttercups/ violets... (V) Comments and analysis of Tumbling-hair/ picker of buttercups/ violets... (V) by e.e. cummings 264 Comments
1162 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
1106 Doveglion Comments and analysis of Doveglion by e.e. cummings 51 Comments
1064 guilt is the cause of more disorders Comments and analysis of guilt is the cause of more disorders by e.e. cummings 6 Comments
1038 up into the silence the green... (41) Comments and analysis of up into the silence the green... (41) by e.e. cummings 6 Comments
1033 red-rag and pink-flag... (11) Comments and analysis of red-rag and pink-flag... (11) by e.e. cummings 6 Comments
1023 mrs... (15)
1019 listen... (III) Comments and analysis of listen... (III) by e.e. cummings 6 Comments
997 but the other Comments and analysis of but the other by e.e. cummings 6 Comments
912 now what were motionless move(exists no... (89) Comments and analysis of now what were motionless move(exists no... (89) by e.e. cummings 22 Comments
897 dead every enourmous piece Comments and analysis of dead every enourmous piece by e.e. cummings 13 Comments
894 who sharpens every dull... (26) Comments and analysis of who sharpens every dull... (26) by e.e. cummings 2 Comments
846 anyone lived in a pretty how town Comments and analysis of anyone lived in a pretty how town by e.e. cummings 889 Comments
768 Where's Madge then, Comments and analysis of Where's Madge then, by e.e. cummings 2 Comments
718 warped this perhapsy... (9) Comments and analysis of warped this perhapsy... (9) by e.e. cummings 7 Comments
686 l(a Comments and analysis of l(a by e.e. cummings 29 Comments
645 i thank you God for most this amazing Comments and analysis of i thank you God for most this amazing by e.e. cummings 329 Comments
596 but mr can you maybe listen there's Comments and analysis of but mr can you maybe listen there's by e.e. cummings 260 Comments
345 you being in love... (XII) Comments and analysis of you being in love... (XII) by e.e. cummings 270 Comments
330 who knows if the moon's... (VII) Comments and analysis of who knows if the moon's... (VII) by e.e. cummings 313 Comments
318 youful... (17) Comments and analysis of youful... (17) by e.e. cummings 39 Comments
310 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 85 Comments
310 buy me an ounce and i'll sell you a pound.
83 there is a here and... (19)


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