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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
142267 Snow Comments and analysis of Snow by e.e. cummings 106 Comments
84553 dying is fine)but Death Comments and analysis of dying is fine)but Death by e.e. cummings 127 Comments
72889 supposing i dreamed this)... (IX) Comments and analysis of supposing i dreamed this)... (IX) by e.e. cummings 20 Comments
72342 maggie and milly and molly and may Comments and analysis of maggie and milly and molly and may by e.e. cummings 402 Comments
72083 Humanity i love you Comments and analysis of Humanity i love you by e.e. cummings 532 Comments
69884 i have found what you are like Comments and analysis of i have found what you are like by e.e. cummings 270 Comments
67638 between the breasts Comments and analysis of between the breasts by e.e. cummings 11 Comments
66127 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
65859 2 little whos Comments and analysis of 2 little whos by e.e. cummings 499 Comments
58241 i shall imagine life Comments and analysis of i shall imagine life by e.e. cummings 10 Comments
55435 All in green went my love riding Comments and analysis of All in green went my love riding by e.e. cummings 49 Comments
55073 am was. Comments and analysis of am was. by e.e. cummings 61 Comments
48390 in spite of everything Comments and analysis of in spite of everything by e.e. cummings 251 Comments
48338 i am a little church Comments and analysis of i am a little church by e.e. cummings 268 Comments
46268 my sweet old etcetera... (X) Comments and analysis of my sweet old etcetera... (X) by e.e. cummings 39 Comments
45906 all which isn't singing is mere talking Comments and analysis of all which isn't singing is mere talking by e.e. cummings 25 Comments
43471 the boys i mean are not refined Comments and analysis of the boys i mean are not refined by e.e. cummings 309 Comments
43079 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
42243 you said Is (XIII) Comments and analysis of you said Is (XIII) by e.e. cummings 6 Comments
40091 (will you teach a... (12) Comments and analysis of (will you teach a... (12) by e.e. cummings 59 Comments
39897 Sometimes I Am Alive Because With Comments and analysis of Sometimes I Am Alive Because With by e.e. cummings 7 Comments
39493 Little Tree Comments and analysis of Little Tree by e.e. cummings 66 Comments
39092 Buffalo Bill's Comments and analysis of Buffalo Bill's by e.e. cummings 406 Comments
38813 nobody loses all the time (X) Comments and analysis of nobody loses all the time (X) by e.e. cummings 31 Comments
36063 your little voice... (I) Comments and analysis of your little voice... (I) by e.e. cummings 56 Comments
35476 in a middle of a room Comments and analysis of in a middle of a room by e.e. cummings 67 Comments
33567 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
33030 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
31797 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
31267 pity this busy monster,manunkind... (XIV) Comments and analysis of pity this busy monster,manunkind... (XIV) by e.e. cummings 67 Comments
30666 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
30592 silence... (40) Comments and analysis of silence... (40) by e.e. cummings 8 Comments
30449 i go to this window Comments and analysis of i go to this window by e.e. cummings 6 Comments
30309 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
29584 once like a spark... (XXIV) Comments and analysis of once like a spark... (XXIV) by e.e. cummings 2 Comments
28410 Spring is like a perhaps hand Comments and analysis of Spring is like a perhaps hand by e.e. cummings 61 Comments
28257 nothing false and possible is love... (XXXIV) Comments and analysis of nothing false and possible is love... (XXXIV) by e.e. cummings 7 Comments
28137 I Am A Beggar Always Comments and analysis of I Am A Beggar Always by e.e. cummings 252 Comments
27646 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
27410 enter no Comments and analysis of enter no by e.e. cummings 9 Comments
26768 Thy fingers make early flowers of... (IV) Comments and analysis of Thy fingers make early flowers of... (IV) by e.e. cummings 83 Comments
26493 here's to opening and upward Comments and analysis of here's to opening and upward by e.e. cummings 6 Comments
25469 when god lets my body be Comments and analysis of when god lets my body be by e.e. cummings 69 Comments
24707 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
24439 gee i like to think of dead Comments and analysis of gee i like to think of dead by e.e. cummings 268 Comments
24254 Jehovah buried,Satan dead, Comments and analysis of Jehovah buried,Satan dead, by e.e. cummings 309 Comments
23954 moan... (7) Comments and analysis of moan... (7) by e.e. cummings 8 Comments
23850 voices to voices,lip to lip... (XXXIII) Comments and analysis of voices to voices,lip to lip... (XXXIII) by e.e. cummings 5 Comments
23802 n(o)w... Comments and analysis of n(o)w... by e.e. cummings 22 Comments
23572 hate blows a bubble of despair into Comments and analysis of hate blows a bubble of despair into by e.e. cummings 43 Comments
23180 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
22790 flotsam and jetsam Comments and analysis of flotsam and jetsam by e.e. cummings 1 Comment
22510 Fame Speaks Comments and analysis of Fame Speaks by e.e. cummings 7 Comments
21755 INTRODUCTION from New Poems Comments and analysis of INTRODUCTION from New Poems by e.e. cummings 230 Comments
21606 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
20730 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
20397 now is a ship... (9) Comments and analysis of now is a ship... (9) by e.e. cummings 253 Comments
20090 now does our world descend... Comments and analysis of now does our world descend... by e.e. cummings 10 Comments
19217 Now i lay(with everywhere around)... (44) Comments and analysis of Now i lay(with everywhere around)... (44) by e.e. cummings 9 Comments
18623 Skating (4) Comments and analysis of Skating (4) by e.e. cummings 7 Comments
18146 a light Out) Comments and analysis of a light Out) by e.e. cummings 3 Comments
17928 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
17366 if i have made,my lady,intricate Comments and analysis of if i have made,my lady,intricate by e.e. cummings 1 Comment
16717 there is a here and... (19)
16581 when life is quite through with... (II) Comments and analysis of when life is quite through with... (II) by e.e. cummings 3 Comments
16091 FOREWARD, is 5 Comments and analysis of FOREWARD, is 5 by e.e. cummings 18 Comments
15329 ecco a letter starting"dearest we" Comments and analysis of ecco a letter starting 2 Comments
15231 there are so many tictoc... Comments and analysis of there are so many tictoc... by e.e. cummings 7 Comments
14623 fl... (2) Comments and analysis of fl... (2) by e.e. cummings 75 Comments
13270 six... (21) Comments and analysis of six... (21) by e.e. cummings 2 Comments
12360 spring omnipotent goddess Thou Comments and analysis of spring omnipotent goddess Thou by e.e. cummings 17 Comments
12100 kumrads die because they're told) Comments and analysis of kumrads die because they're told) by e.e. cummings 7 Comments
12065 spoke joe to jack... (10) Comments and analysis of spoke joe to jack... (10) by e.e. cummings 4 Comments
11963 yonder deadfromtheneckup graduate... (V) Comments and analysis of yonder deadfromtheneckup graduate... (V) by e.e. cummings 6 Comments
11128 this(let's remember)day died again and...
10666 this evangelist... (XXIX) Comments and analysis of this evangelist... (XXIX) by e.e. cummings 213 Comments
10174 suppose... (VIII) Comments and analysis of suppose... (VIII) by e.e. cummings 52 Comments
9957 why did you go... (IV) Comments and analysis of why did you go... (IV) by e.e. cummings 231 Comments
9944 ordinary wind is winding(cold face blush Comments and analysis of ordinary wind is winding(cold face blush by e.e. cummings 1 Comment
8982 speaking of love(of... (LV) Comments and analysis of speaking of love(of... (LV) by e.e. cummings 4 Comments
8227 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
7432 yes is a pleasant country... (XXXVIII) Comments and analysis of yes is a pleasant country... (XXXVIII) by e.e. cummings 10 Comments
7257 you shall above all things... (22) Comments and analysis of you shall above all things... (22) by e.e. cummings 24 Comments
7223 (and i imagine... (XII) Comments and analysis of (and i imagine... (XII) by e.e. cummings 225 Comments
6887 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
5999 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
5710 !blac... (1) Comments and analysis of !blac... (1) by e.e. cummings 674 Comments
5220 proud of his scientific attitude... (13) Comments and analysis of proud of his scientific attitude... (13) by e.e. cummings 3 Comments
5023 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
4537 Of Nicolette Comments and analysis of Of Nicolette by e.e. cummings 3 Comments
4426 in Just- Comments and analysis of in Just- by e.e. cummings 747 Comments
3247 somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond Comments and analysis of somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond by e.e. cummings 257 Comments
3050 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
2877 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
2854 (Me up at does) Comments and analysis of (Me up at does) by e.e. cummings 141 Comments
2700 Seeker Of Truth Comments and analysis of Seeker Of Truth by e.e. cummings 33 Comments
2621 Marianne Moore (35) Comments and analysis of Marianne Moore (35) by e.e. cummings 1 Comment
2410 1(a... (a leaf falls on loneliness) Comments and analysis of 1(a... (a leaf falls on loneliness) by e.e. cummings 255 Comments
2335 Epithalamion Comments and analysis of Epithalamion by e.e. cummings 7 Comments
2314 she being Brand... (XIX) Comments and analysis of she being Brand... (XIX) by e.e. cummings 94 Comments
2171 in time of daffodils Comments and analysis of in time of daffodils by e.e. cummings 42 Comments
2162 "Gay" is the captivating cognomen Comments and analysis of 319 Comments
2072 because i love you)last night Comments and analysis of because i love you)last night by e.e. cummings 8 Comments
2038 nobody loved this... (4) Comments and analysis of nobody loved this... (4) by e.e. cummings 8 Comments
1988 a pretty a day Comments and analysis of a pretty a day by e.e. cummings 10 Comments
1972 since feeling is first... (VII) Comments and analysis of since feeling is first... (VII) by e.e. cummings 415 Comments
1953 i sing of Olaf glad and big Comments and analysis of i sing of Olaf glad and big by e.e. cummings 292 Comments
1914 it may not always be so Comments and analysis of it may not always be so by e.e. cummings 103 Comments
1822 a man who had fallen among thieves Comments and analysis of a man who had fallen among thieves by e.e. cummings 110 Comments
1737 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
1729 i am so glad and very Comments and analysis of i am so glad and very by e.e. cummings 269 Comments
1728 all ignorance toboggans into know Comments and analysis of all ignorance toboggans into know by e.e. cummings 263 Comments
1670 as freedom is a breakfastfood Comments and analysis of as freedom is a breakfastfood by e.e. cummings 15 Comments
1667 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
1610 if there are any heavens my mother will Comments and analysis of if there are any heavens my mother will by e.e. cummings 28 Comments
1529 i carry your heart with me Comments and analysis of i carry your heart with me by e.e. cummings 824 Comments
1476 because it's Comments and analysis of because it's by e.e. cummings 8 Comments
1471 a total stranger one black day Comments and analysis of a total stranger one black day by e.e. cummings 18 Comments
1452 love is a place... (58) Comments and analysis of love is a place... (58) by e.e. cummings 17 Comments
1415 my love is building a building... (XII) Comments and analysis of my love is building a building... (XII) by e.e. cummings 3 Comments
1327 if you like my poems let them Comments and analysis of if you like my poems let them by e.e. cummings 110 Comments
1267 O sweet spontaneous Comments and analysis of O sweet spontaneous by e.e. cummings 5 Comments
1253 here is little Effie's head Comments and analysis of here is little Effie's head by e.e. cummings 26 Comments
1219 my mind is... (XXV) Comments and analysis of my mind is... (XXV) by e.e. cummings 28 Comments
1205 )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
1196 Poem, Or Beauty Hurts Mr. Vinal Comments and analysis of Poem, Or Beauty Hurts Mr. Vinal by e.e. cummings 260 Comments
1168 lily has a rose Comments and analysis of lily has a rose by e.e. cummings 6 Comments
1159 into the strenuous briefness Comments and analysis of into the strenuous briefness by e.e. cummings 200 Comments
1159 into the strenuous briefness
1133 my father moved through dooms of love Comments and analysis of my father moved through dooms of love by e.e. cummings 83 Comments
1095 Picasso... (XXIII) Comments and analysis of Picasso... (XXIII) by e.e. cummings 9 Comments
1090 Tumbling-hair/ picker of buttercups/ violets... (V) Comments and analysis of Tumbling-hair/ picker of buttercups/ violets... (V) by e.e. cummings 264 Comments
1088 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
1035 Doveglion Comments and analysis of Doveglion by e.e. cummings 51 Comments
1025 may i feel said he Comments and analysis of may i feel said he by e.e. cummings 162 Comments
959 red-rag and pink-flag... (11) Comments and analysis of red-rag and pink-flag... (11) by e.e. cummings 6 Comments
957 guilt is the cause of more disorders Comments and analysis of guilt is the cause of more disorders by e.e. cummings 6 Comments
953 up into the silence the green... (41) Comments and analysis of up into the silence the green... (41) by e.e. cummings 6 Comments
919 listen... (III) Comments and analysis of listen... (III) by e.e. cummings 6 Comments
915 but the other Comments and analysis of but the other by e.e. cummings 6 Comments
885 mrs... (15)
841 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
811 who sharpens every dull... (26) Comments and analysis of who sharpens every dull... (26) by e.e. cummings 2 Comments
806 dead every enourmous piece Comments and analysis of dead every enourmous piece by e.e. cummings 13 Comments
690 Where's Madge then, Comments and analysis of Where's Madge then, by e.e. cummings 2 Comments
658 warped this perhapsy... (9) Comments and analysis of warped this perhapsy... (9) by e.e. cummings 7 Comments
657 anyone lived in a pretty how town Comments and analysis of anyone lived in a pretty how town by e.e. cummings 888 Comments
542 l(a Comments and analysis of l(a by e.e. cummings 29 Comments
465 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
455 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
240 youful... (17) Comments and analysis of youful... (17) by e.e. cummings 39 Comments
229 you being in love... (XII) Comments and analysis of you being in love... (XII) by e.e. cummings 270 Comments
225 who knows if the moon's... (VII) Comments and analysis of who knows if the moon's... (VII) by e.e. cummings 313 Comments
218 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
218 buy me an ounce and i'll sell you a pound.


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