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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
88567 dying is fine)but Death Comments and analysis of dying is fine)but Death by e.e. cummings 142 Comments
76537 supposing i dreamed this)... (IX) Comments and analysis of supposing i dreamed this)... (IX) by e.e. cummings 26 Comments
74569 maggie and milly and molly and may Comments and analysis of maggie and milly and molly and may by e.e. cummings 420 Comments
73012 i have found what you are like Comments and analysis of i have found what you are like by e.e. cummings 288 Comments
69926 between the breasts Comments and analysis of between the breasts by e.e. cummings 11 Comments
68432 2 little whos Comments and analysis of 2 little whos by e.e. cummings 542 Comments
60952 i shall imagine life Comments and analysis of i shall imagine life by e.e. cummings 20 Comments
57747 All in green went my love riding Comments and analysis of All in green went my love riding by e.e. cummings 61 Comments
50684 in spite of everything Comments and analysis of in spite of everything by e.e. cummings 265 Comments
47906 all which isn't singing is mere talking Comments and analysis of all which isn't singing is mere talking by e.e. cummings 31 Comments
43507 you said Is (XIII) Comments and analysis of you said Is (XIII) by e.e. cummings 12 Comments
41517 (will you teach a... (12) Comments and analysis of (will you teach a... (12) by e.e. cummings 76 Comments
41235 Sometimes I Am Alive Because With Comments and analysis of Sometimes I Am Alive Because With by e.e. cummings 13 Comments
40790 Little Tree Comments and analysis of Little Tree by e.e. cummings 75 Comments
39840 nobody loses all the time (X) Comments and analysis of nobody loses all the time (X) by e.e. cummings 38 Comments
37828 your little voice... (I) Comments and analysis of your little voice... (I) by e.e. cummings 70 Comments
36555 in a middle of a room Comments and analysis of in a middle of a room by e.e. cummings 85 Comments
34784 but if a living dance upon dead minds Comments and analysis of but if a living dance upon dead minds by e.e. cummings 71 Comments
34213 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 317 Comments
31734 silence... (40) Comments and analysis of silence... (40) by e.e. cummings 16 Comments
31345 i go to this window Comments and analysis of i go to this window by e.e. cummings 7 Comments
30908 once like a spark... (XXIV) Comments and analysis of once like a spark... (XXIV) by e.e. cummings 2 Comments
29203 nothing false and possible is love... (XXXIV) Comments and analysis of nothing false and possible is love... (XXXIV) by e.e. cummings 7 Comments
28978 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 338 Comments
28559 enter no Comments and analysis of enter no by e.e. cummings 9 Comments
28123 Thy fingers make early flowers of... (IV) Comments and analysis of Thy fingers make early flowers of... (IV) by e.e. cummings 101 Comments
27660 here's to opening and upward Comments and analysis of here's to opening and upward by e.e. cummings 9 Comments
26569 when god lets my body be Comments and analysis of when god lets my body be by e.e. cummings 85 Comments
25614 gee i like to think of dead Comments and analysis of gee i like to think of dead by e.e. cummings 288 Comments
25359 Jehovah buried,Satan dead, Comments and analysis of Jehovah buried,Satan dead, by e.e. cummings 335 Comments
25199 voices to voices,lip to lip... (XXXIII) Comments and analysis of voices to voices,lip to lip... (XXXIII) by e.e. cummings 24 Comments
24775 n(o)w... Comments and analysis of n(o)w... by e.e. cummings 28 Comments
24670 moan... (7) Comments and analysis of moan... (7) by e.e. cummings 9 Comments
24656 hate blows a bubble of despair into Comments and analysis of hate blows a bubble of despair into by e.e. cummings 52 Comments
23997 the Cambridge ladies who live in furnished souls Comments and analysis of the Cambridge ladies who live in furnished souls by e.e. cummings 146 Comments
23556 Fame Speaks Comments and analysis of Fame Speaks by e.e. cummings 14 Comments
22794 INTRODUCTION from New Poems Comments and analysis of INTRODUCTION from New Poems by e.e. cummings 236 Comments
22408 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
21553 now is a ship... (9) Comments and analysis of now is a ship... (9) by e.e. cummings 265 Comments
19302 Skating (4) Comments and analysis of Skating (4) by e.e. cummings 11 Comments
18864 a light Out) Comments and analysis of a light Out) by e.e. cummings 3 Comments
18855 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
18339 if i have made,my lady,intricate Comments and analysis of if i have made,my lady,intricate by e.e. cummings 1 Comment
17054 FOREWARD, is 5 Comments and analysis of FOREWARD, is 5 by e.e. cummings 30 Comments
16169 there are so many tictoc... Comments and analysis of there are so many tictoc... by e.e. cummings 13 Comments
15424 fl... (2) Comments and analysis of fl... (2) by e.e. cummings 89 Comments
13139 spring omnipotent goddess Thou Comments and analysis of spring omnipotent goddess Thou by e.e. cummings 18 Comments
12796 yonder deadfromtheneckup graduate... (V) Comments and analysis of yonder deadfromtheneckup graduate... (V) by e.e. cummings 9 Comments
12758 kumrads die because they're told) Comments and analysis of kumrads die because they're told) by e.e. cummings 7 Comments
12751 spoke joe to jack... (10) Comments and analysis of spoke joe to jack... (10) by e.e. cummings 4 Comments
11353 this evangelist... (XXIX) Comments and analysis of this evangelist... (XXIX) by e.e. cummings 224 Comments
11054 suppose... (VIII) Comments and analysis of suppose... (VIII) by e.e. cummings 63 Comments
10983 why did you go... (IV) Comments and analysis of why did you go... (IV) by e.e. cummings 247 Comments
10585 ordinary wind is winding(cold face blush Comments and analysis of ordinary wind is winding(cold face blush by e.e. cummings 1 Comment
9812 speaking of love(of... (LV) Comments and analysis of speaking of love(of... (LV) by e.e. cummings 4 Comments
8968 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
8053 you shall above all things... (22) Comments and analysis of you shall above all things... (22) by e.e. cummings 32 Comments
7957 yes is a pleasant country... (XXXVIII) Comments and analysis of yes is a pleasant country... (XXXVIII) by e.e. cummings 10 Comments
7762 (and i imagine... (XII) Comments and analysis of (and i imagine... (XII) by e.e. cummings 235 Comments
6694 !blac... (1) Comments and analysis of !blac... (1) by e.e. cummings 701 Comments
5468 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
5453 Marianne Moore (35) Comments and analysis of Marianne Moore (35) by e.e. cummings 1 Comment
5333 proud of his scientific attitude... (13) Comments and analysis of proud of his scientific attitude... (13) by e.e. cummings 3 Comments
5259 somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond Comments and analysis of somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond by e.e. cummings 287 Comments
4902 (Me up at does) Comments and analysis of (Me up at does) by e.e. cummings 169 Comments
4748 as freedom is a breakfastfood Comments and analysis of as freedom is a breakfastfood by e.e. cummings 36 Comments
4601 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 104 Comments
4466 Seeker Of Truth Comments and analysis of Seeker Of Truth by e.e. cummings 35 Comments
4108 1(a... (a leaf falls on loneliness) Comments and analysis of 1(a... (a leaf falls on loneliness) by e.e. cummings 280 Comments
4019 in time of daffodils Comments and analysis of in time of daffodils by e.e. cummings 68 Comments
3949 nobody loved this... (4) Comments and analysis of nobody loved this... (4) by e.e. cummings 11 Comments
3901 she being Brand... (XIX) Comments and analysis of she being Brand... (XIX) by e.e. cummings 101 Comments
3625 "Gay" is the captivating cognomen Comments and analysis of 329 Comments
3621 i sing of Olaf glad and big Comments and analysis of i sing of Olaf glad and big by e.e. cummings 308 Comments
3569 since feeling is first... (VII) Comments and analysis of since feeling is first... (VII) by e.e. cummings 439 Comments
3352 because i love you)last night Comments and analysis of because i love you)last night by e.e. cummings 8 Comments
3349 it may not always be so Comments and analysis of it may not always be so by e.e. cummings 113 Comments
3300 a man who had fallen among thieves Comments and analysis of a man who had fallen among thieves by e.e. cummings 126 Comments
3291 a pretty a day Comments and analysis of a pretty a day by e.e. cummings 10 Comments
3248 it is at moments after I have dreamed Comments and analysis of it is at moments after I have dreamed by e.e. cummings 86 Comments
3063 anyone lived in a pretty how town Comments and analysis of anyone lived in a pretty how town by e.e. cummings 940 Comments
2936 all ignorance toboggans into know Comments and analysis of all ignorance toboggans into know by e.e. cummings 274 Comments
2920 if there are any heavens my mother will Comments and analysis of if there are any heavens my mother will by e.e. cummings 49 Comments
2826 a total stranger one black day Comments and analysis of a total stranger one black day by e.e. cummings 18 Comments
2754 my love is building a building... (XII) Comments and analysis of my love is building a building... (XII) by e.e. cummings 10 Comments
2753 if you like my poems let them Comments and analysis of if you like my poems let them by e.e. cummings 124 Comments
2734 because it's Comments and analysis of because it's by e.e. cummings 17 Comments
2671 may i feel said he Comments and analysis of may i feel said he by e.e. cummings 188 Comments
2505 love is a place... (58) Comments and analysis of love is a place... (58) by e.e. cummings 35 Comments
2366 here is little Effie's head Comments and analysis of here is little Effie's head by e.e. cummings 35 Comments
2326 Poem, Or Beauty Hurts Mr. Vinal Comments and analysis of Poem, Or Beauty Hurts Mr. Vinal by e.e. cummings 277 Comments
2248 into the strenuous briefness Comments and analysis of into the strenuous briefness by e.e. cummings 206 Comments
2248 into the strenuous briefness
2214 i thank you God for most this amazing Comments and analysis of i thank you God for most this amazing by e.e. cummings 360 Comments
2197 O sweet spontaneous Comments and analysis of O sweet spontaneous by e.e. cummings 5 Comments
2131 mr youse needn't be so spry... (XVIII) Comments and analysis of mr youse needn't be so spry... (XVIII) by e.e. cummings 71 Comments
2111 l(a Comments and analysis of l(a by e.e. cummings 34 Comments
2089 )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 14 Comments
2016 guilt is the cause of more disorders Comments and analysis of guilt is the cause of more disorders by e.e. cummings 7 Comments
1973 Of Nicolette Comments and analysis of Of Nicolette by e.e. cummings 3 Comments
1957 Doveglion Comments and analysis of Doveglion by e.e. cummings 57 Comments
1935 Tumbling-hair/ picker of buttercups/ violets... (V) Comments and analysis of Tumbling-hair/ picker of buttercups/ violets... (V) by e.e. cummings 272 Comments
1824 in Just- Comments and analysis of in Just- by e.e. cummings 809 Comments
1815 up into the silence the green... (41) Comments and analysis of up into the silence the green... (41) by e.e. cummings 7 Comments
1806 listen... (III) Comments and analysis of listen... (III) by e.e. cummings 15 Comments
1708 but the other Comments and analysis of but the other by e.e. cummings 9 Comments
1692 red-rag and pink-flag... (11) Comments and analysis of red-rag and pink-flag... (11) by e.e. cummings 6 Comments
1687 now what were motionless move(exists no... (89) Comments and analysis of now what were motionless move(exists no... (89) by e.e. cummings 29 Comments
1641 mrs... (15)
1609 but mr can you maybe listen there's Comments and analysis of but mr can you maybe listen there's by e.e. cummings 280 Comments
1552 who sharpens every dull... (26) Comments and analysis of who sharpens every dull... (26) by e.e. cummings 2 Comments
1529 dead every enourmous piece Comments and analysis of dead every enourmous piece by e.e. cummings 21 Comments
1392 you being in love... (XII) Comments and analysis of you being in love... (XII) by e.e. cummings 284 Comments
1342 the boys i mean are not refined Comments and analysis of the boys i mean are not refined by e.e. cummings 331 Comments
1322 who knows if the moon's... (VII) Comments and analysis of who knows if the moon's... (VII) by e.e. cummings 333 Comments
1312 Where's Madge then, Comments and analysis of Where's Madge then, by e.e. cummings 2 Comments
1302 warped this perhapsy... (9) Comments and analysis of warped this perhapsy... (9) by e.e. cummings 9 Comments
1276 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 89 Comments
1276 buy me an ounce and i'll sell you a pound.
1210 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 396 Comments
1172 Snow Comments and analysis of Snow by e.e. cummings 120 Comments
1049 Humanity i love you Comments and analysis of Humanity i love you by e.e. cummings 579 Comments
992 youful... (17) Comments and analysis of youful... (17) by e.e. cummings 43 Comments
987 i am a little church Comments and analysis of i am a little church by e.e. cummings 285 Comments
979 Epithalamion Comments and analysis of Epithalamion by e.e. cummings 7 Comments
924 i carry your heart with me Comments and analysis of i carry your heart with me by e.e. cummings 845 Comments
915 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 268 Comments
879 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 92 Comments
875 Buffalo Bill's Comments and analysis of Buffalo Bill's by e.e. cummings 431 Comments
867 my mind is... (XXV) Comments and analysis of my mind is... (XXV) by e.e. cummings 34 Comments
747 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
735 if everything happens that can't be done Comments and analysis of if everything happens that can't be done by e.e. cummings 310 Comments
677 Spring is like a perhaps hand Comments and analysis of Spring is like a perhaps hand by e.e. cummings 66 Comments
675 there is a here and... (19)
613 i am so glad and very Comments and analysis of i am so glad and very by e.e. cummings 284 Comments
593 flotsam and jetsam Comments and analysis of flotsam and jetsam by e.e. cummings 2 Comments
587 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 11 Comments
586 Now i lay(with everywhere around)... (44) Comments and analysis of Now i lay(with everywhere around)... (44) by e.e. cummings 9 Comments
562 when life is quite through with... (II) Comments and analysis of when life is quite through with... (II) by e.e. cummings 3 Comments
512 Picasso... (XXIII) Comments and analysis of Picasso... (XXIII) by e.e. cummings 9 Comments
447 am was. Comments and analysis of am was. by e.e. cummings 69 Comments
429 this(let's remember)day died again and...
428 next to of course god america i... (III) Comments and analysis of next to of course god america i... (III) by e.e. cummings 388 Comments
374 my father moved through dooms of love Comments and analysis of my father moved through dooms of love by e.e. cummings 95 Comments
363 now does our world descend... Comments and analysis of now does our world descend... by e.e. cummings 24 Comments
340 my sweet old etcetera... (X) Comments and analysis of my sweet old etcetera... (X) by e.e. cummings 48 Comments
287 I Am A Beggar Always Comments and analysis of I Am A Beggar Always by e.e. cummings 277 Comments
282 lily has a rose Comments and analysis of lily has a rose by e.e. cummings 6 Comments
269 of all the blessings which to man... (IV) Comments and analysis of of all the blessings which to man... (IV) by e.e. cummings 36 Comments
228 six... (21) Comments and analysis of six... (21) by e.e. cummings 2 Comments
214 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 17 Comments
207 ecco a letter starting"dearest we" Comments and analysis of ecco a letter starting 2 Comments
194 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
139 pity this busy monster,manunkind... (XIV) Comments and analysis of pity this busy monster,manunkind... (XIV) by e.e. cummings 79 Comments
91 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 53 Comments


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