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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
140416 Snow Comments and analysis of Snow by e.e. cummings 104 Comments
83304 dying is fine)but Death Comments and analysis of dying is fine)but Death by e.e. cummings 126 Comments
71988 supposing i dreamed this)... (IX) Comments and analysis of supposing i dreamed this)... (IX) by e.e. cummings 19 Comments
71751 maggie and milly and molly and may Comments and analysis of maggie and milly and molly and may by e.e. cummings 395 Comments
71031 Humanity i love you Comments and analysis of Humanity i love you by e.e. cummings 516 Comments
68997 i have found what you are like Comments and analysis of i have found what you are like by e.e. cummings 261 Comments
66927 between the breasts Comments and analysis of between the breasts by e.e. cummings 11 Comments
65327 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 368 Comments
65034 2 little whos Comments and analysis of 2 little whos by e.e. cummings 488 Comments
57373 i shall imagine life Comments and analysis of i shall imagine life by e.e. cummings 10 Comments
54825 All in green went my love riding Comments and analysis of All in green went my love riding by e.e. cummings 45 Comments
54428 am was. Comments and analysis of am was. by e.e. cummings 60 Comments
52002 you being in love... (XII) Comments and analysis of you being in love... (XII) by e.e. cummings 267 Comments
47798 in spite of everything Comments and analysis of in spite of everything by e.e. cummings 243 Comments
47660 i am a little church Comments and analysis of i am a little church by e.e. cummings 261 Comments
45974 my sweet old etcetera... (X) Comments and analysis of my sweet old etcetera... (X) by e.e. cummings 35 Comments
45510 all which isn't singing is mere talking Comments and analysis of all which isn't singing is mere talking by e.e. cummings 24 Comments
42942 the boys i mean are not refined Comments and analysis of the boys i mean are not refined by e.e. cummings 300 Comments
42790 if everything happens that can't be done Comments and analysis of if everything happens that can't be done by e.e. cummings 278 Comments
41896 you said Is (XIII) Comments and analysis of you said Is (XIII) by e.e. cummings 4 Comments
39703 Sometimes I Am Alive Because With Comments and analysis of Sometimes I Am Alive Because With by e.e. cummings 6 Comments
39640 (will you teach a... (12) Comments and analysis of (will you teach a... (12) by e.e. cummings 53 Comments
39220 Little Tree Comments and analysis of Little Tree by e.e. cummings 62 Comments
39019 who knows if the moon's... (VII) Comments and analysis of who knows if the moon's... (VII) by e.e. cummings 304 Comments
38800 Buffalo Bill's Comments and analysis of Buffalo Bill's by e.e. cummings 402 Comments
38504 nobody loses all the time (X) Comments and analysis of nobody loses all the time (X) by e.e. cummings 28 Comments
35555 your little voice... (I) Comments and analysis of your little voice... (I) by e.e. cummings 53 Comments
35104 in a middle of a room Comments and analysis of in a middle of a room by e.e. cummings 62 Comments
33304 but if a living dance upon dead minds Comments and analysis of but if a living dance upon dead minds by e.e. cummings 62 Comments
32793 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 286 Comments
31571 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
30852 pity this busy monster,manunkind... (XIV) Comments and analysis of pity this busy monster,manunkind... (XIV) by e.e. cummings 63 Comments
30391 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 244 Comments
30249 silence... (40) Comments and analysis of silence... (40) by e.e. cummings 8 Comments
30128 i go to this window Comments and analysis of i go to this window by e.e. cummings 6 Comments
29803 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
29263 once like a spark... (XXIV) Comments and analysis of once like a spark... (XXIV) by e.e. cummings 2 Comments
28182 Spring is like a perhaps hand Comments and analysis of Spring is like a perhaps hand by e.e. cummings 61 Comments
28047 nothing false and possible is love... (XXXIV) Comments and analysis of nothing false and possible is love... (XXXIV) by e.e. cummings 7 Comments
27860 I Am A Beggar Always Comments and analysis of I Am A Beggar Always by e.e. cummings 248 Comments
27273 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 299 Comments
27075 enter no Comments and analysis of enter no by e.e. cummings 9 Comments
26418 Thy fingers make early flowers of... (IV) Comments and analysis of Thy fingers make early flowers of... (IV) by e.e. cummings 83 Comments
26231 here's to opening and upward Comments and analysis of here's to opening and upward by e.e. cummings 5 Comments
25157 when god lets my body be Comments and analysis of when god lets my body be by e.e. cummings 65 Comments
24845 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
24845 buy me an ounce and i'll sell you a pound.
24148 gee i like to think of dead Comments and analysis of gee i like to think of dead by e.e. cummings 260 Comments
24139 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 43 Comments
23944 Jehovah buried,Satan dead, Comments and analysis of Jehovah buried,Satan dead, by e.e. cummings 300 Comments
23769 moan... (7) Comments and analysis of moan... (7) by e.e. cummings 8 Comments
23645 voices to voices,lip to lip... (XXXIII) Comments and analysis of voices to voices,lip to lip... (XXXIII) by e.e. cummings 5 Comments
23579 n(o)w... Comments and analysis of n(o)w... by e.e. cummings 22 Comments
23327 hate blows a bubble of despair into Comments and analysis of hate blows a bubble of despair into by e.e. cummings 41 Comments
22929 the Cambridge ladies who live in furnished souls Comments and analysis of the Cambridge ladies who live in furnished souls by e.e. cummings 132 Comments
22557 flotsam and jetsam Comments and analysis of flotsam and jetsam by e.e. cummings 1 Comment
22232 Fame Speaks Comments and analysis of Fame Speaks by e.e. cummings 7 Comments
21405 INTRODUCTION from New Poems Comments and analysis of INTRODUCTION from New Poems by e.e. cummings 226 Comments
21354 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
20487 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
20137 now is a ship... (9) Comments and analysis of now is a ship... (9) by e.e. cummings 248 Comments
19867 now does our world descend... Comments and analysis of now does our world descend... by e.e. cummings 10 Comments
18981 Now i lay(with everywhere around)... (44) Comments and analysis of Now i lay(with everywhere around)... (44) by e.e. cummings 9 Comments
18449 Skating (4) Comments and analysis of Skating (4) by e.e. cummings 6 Comments
17991 a light Out) Comments and analysis of a light Out) by e.e. cummings 3 Comments
17721 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
17111 if i have made,my lady,intricate Comments and analysis of if i have made,my lady,intricate by e.e. cummings 1 Comment
16585 there is a here and... (19)
16381 when life is quite through with... (II) Comments and analysis of when life is quite through with... (II) by e.e. cummings 3 Comments
15768 FOREWARD, is 5 Comments and analysis of FOREWARD, is 5 by e.e. cummings 18 Comments
15205 ecco a letter starting"dearest we" Comments and analysis of ecco a letter starting 2 Comments
15028 there are so many tictoc... Comments and analysis of there are so many tictoc... by e.e. cummings 7 Comments
14441 fl... (2) Comments and analysis of fl... (2) by e.e. cummings 71 Comments
13153 six... (21) Comments and analysis of six... (21) by e.e. cummings 2 Comments
12119 spring omnipotent goddess Thou Comments and analysis of spring omnipotent goddess Thou by e.e. cummings 16 Comments
11909 spoke joe to jack... (10) Comments and analysis of spoke joe to jack... (10) by e.e. cummings 4 Comments
11878 kumrads die because they're told) Comments and analysis of kumrads die because they're told) by e.e. cummings 7 Comments
11781 yonder deadfromtheneckup graduate... (V) Comments and analysis of yonder deadfromtheneckup graduate... (V) by e.e. cummings 4 Comments
10928 this(let's remember)day died again and...
10511 this evangelist... (XXIX) Comments and analysis of this evangelist... (XXIX) by e.e. cummings 208 Comments
9921 suppose... (VIII) Comments and analysis of suppose... (VIII) by e.e. cummings 51 Comments
9798 ordinary wind is winding(cold face blush Comments and analysis of ordinary wind is winding(cold face blush by e.e. cummings 1 Comment
9698 why did you go... (IV) Comments and analysis of why did you go... (IV) by e.e. cummings 226 Comments
9639 Marianne Moore (35) Comments and analysis of Marianne Moore (35) by e.e. cummings 1 Comment
8795 speaking of love(of... (LV) Comments and analysis of speaking of love(of... (LV) by e.e. cummings 4 Comments
8067 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
7176 yes is a pleasant country... (XXXVIII) Comments and analysis of yes is a pleasant country... (XXXVIII) by e.e. cummings 10 Comments
7122 (and i imagine... (XII) Comments and analysis of (and i imagine... (XII) by e.e. cummings 220 Comments
7094 you shall above all things... (22) Comments and analysis of you shall above all things... (22) by e.e. cummings 22 Comments
6738 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
5783 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
5533 !blac... (1) Comments and analysis of !blac... (1) by e.e. cummings 667 Comments
5082 proud of his scientific attitude... (13) Comments and analysis of proud of his scientific attitude... (13) by e.e. cummings 3 Comments
4862 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
3592 in Just- Comments and analysis of in Just- by e.e. cummings 728 Comments
3361 Of Nicolette Comments and analysis of Of Nicolette by e.e. cummings 3 Comments
2751 somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond Comments and analysis of somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond by e.e. cummings 254 Comments
2569 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 90 Comments
2417 next to of course god america i... (III) Comments and analysis of next to of course god america i... (III) by e.e. cummings 368 Comments
2383 i thank you God for most this amazing Comments and analysis of i thank you God for most this amazing by e.e. cummings 317 Comments
2345 (Me up at does) Comments and analysis of (Me up at does) by e.e. cummings 141 Comments
2111 Seeker Of Truth Comments and analysis of Seeker Of Truth by e.e. cummings 32 Comments
1914 1(a... (a leaf falls on loneliness) Comments and analysis of 1(a... (a leaf falls on loneliness) by e.e. cummings 252 Comments
1881 Epithalamion Comments and analysis of Epithalamion by e.e. cummings 3 Comments
1796 she being Brand... (XIX) Comments and analysis of she being Brand... (XIX) by e.e. cummings 93 Comments
1745 "Gay" is the captivating cognomen Comments and analysis of 316 Comments
1708 nobody loved this... (4) Comments and analysis of nobody loved this... (4) by e.e. cummings 7 Comments
1696 in time of daffodils Comments and analysis of in time of daffodils by e.e. cummings 41 Comments
1636 because i love you)last night Comments and analysis of because i love you)last night by e.e. cummings 8 Comments
1593 a pretty a day Comments and analysis of a pretty a day by e.e. cummings 10 Comments
1562 since feeling is first... (VII) Comments and analysis of since feeling is first... (VII) by e.e. cummings 412 Comments
1517 it may not always be so Comments and analysis of it may not always be so by e.e. cummings 99 Comments
1468 i sing of Olaf glad and big Comments and analysis of i sing of Olaf glad and big by e.e. cummings 286 Comments
1397 it is at moments after I have dreamed Comments and analysis of it is at moments after I have dreamed by e.e. cummings 76 Comments
1396 a man who had fallen among thieves Comments and analysis of a man who had fallen among thieves by e.e. cummings 107 Comments
1367 i am so glad and very Comments and analysis of i am so glad and very by e.e. cummings 256 Comments
1348 all ignorance toboggans into know Comments and analysis of all ignorance toboggans into know by e.e. cummings 256 Comments
1320 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
1291 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
1284 as freedom is a breakfastfood Comments and analysis of as freedom is a breakfastfood by e.e. cummings 13 Comments
1171 a total stranger one black day Comments and analysis of a total stranger one black day by e.e. cummings 18 Comments
1140 my love is building a building... (XII) Comments and analysis of my love is building a building... (XII) by e.e. cummings 3 Comments
1119 love is a place... (58) Comments and analysis of love is a place... (58) by e.e. cummings 16 Comments
1075 because it's Comments and analysis of because it's by e.e. cummings 7 Comments
1072 if you like my poems let them Comments and analysis of if you like my poems let them by e.e. cummings 108 Comments
996 O sweet spontaneous Comments and analysis of O sweet spontaneous by e.e. cummings 5 Comments
967 i carry your heart with me Comments and analysis of i carry your heart with me by e.e. cummings 813 Comments
953 my mind is... (XXV) Comments and analysis of my mind is... (XXV) by e.e. cummings 24 Comments
930 lily has a rose Comments and analysis of lily has a rose by e.e. cummings 6 Comments
927 )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
913 my father moved through dooms of love Comments and analysis of my father moved through dooms of love by e.e. cummings 81 Comments
901 into the strenuous briefness Comments and analysis of into the strenuous briefness by e.e. cummings 197 Comments
901 into the strenuous briefness
899 here is little Effie's head Comments and analysis of here is little Effie's head by e.e. cummings 22 Comments
865 Tumbling-hair/ picker of buttercups/ violets... (V) Comments and analysis of Tumbling-hair/ picker of buttercups/ violets... (V) by e.e. cummings 263 Comments
839 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
826 Poem, Or Beauty Hurts Mr. Vinal Comments and analysis of Poem, Or Beauty Hurts Mr. Vinal by e.e. cummings 253 Comments
817 Doveglion Comments and analysis of Doveglion by e.e. cummings 51 Comments
777 up into the silence the green... (41) Comments and analysis of up into the silence the green... (41) by e.e. cummings 6 Comments
764 Picasso... (XXIII) Comments and analysis of Picasso... (XXIII) by e.e. cummings 9 Comments
752 red-rag and pink-flag... (11) Comments and analysis of red-rag and pink-flag... (11) by e.e. cummings 6 Comments
736 guilt is the cause of more disorders Comments and analysis of guilt is the cause of more disorders by e.e. cummings 6 Comments
716 but the other Comments and analysis of but the other by e.e. cummings 6 Comments
679 listen... (III) Comments and analysis of listen... (III) by e.e. cummings 5 Comments
657 who sharpens every dull... (26) Comments and analysis of who sharpens every dull... (26) by e.e. cummings 2 Comments
633 dead every enourmous piece Comments and analysis of dead every enourmous piece by e.e. cummings 10 Comments
622 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
534 warped this perhapsy... (9) Comments and analysis of warped this perhapsy... (9) by e.e. cummings 6 Comments
520 Where's Madge then, Comments and analysis of Where's Madge then, by e.e. cummings 2 Comments
511 mrs... (15)
494 may i feel said he Comments and analysis of may i feel said he by e.e. cummings 159 Comments
144 but mr can you maybe listen there's Comments and analysis of but mr can you maybe listen there's by e.e. cummings 253 Comments
77 youful... (17) Comments and analysis of youful... (17) by e.e. cummings 38 Comments
41 l(a Comments and analysis of l(a by e.e. cummings 29 Comments
38 anyone lived in a pretty how town Comments and analysis of anyone lived in a pretty how town by e.e. cummings 874 Comments


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