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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
509992 Humanity i love you Comments and analysis of Humanity i love you by e.e. cummings 550 Comments
143102 Snow Comments and analysis of Snow by e.e. cummings 113 Comments
85266 dying is fine)but Death Comments and analysis of dying is fine)but Death by e.e. cummings 134 Comments
73511 supposing i dreamed this)... (IX) Comments and analysis of supposing i dreamed this)... (IX) by e.e. cummings 20 Comments
72723 maggie and milly and molly and may Comments and analysis of maggie and milly and molly and may by e.e. cummings 409 Comments
70414 i have found what you are like Comments and analysis of i have found what you are like by e.e. cummings 277 Comments
68068 between the breasts Comments and analysis of between the breasts by e.e. cummings 11 Comments
66308 2 little whos Comments and analysis of 2 little whos by e.e. cummings 512 Comments
58737 i shall imagine life Comments and analysis of i shall imagine life by e.e. cummings 10 Comments
55851 All in green went my love riding Comments and analysis of All in green went my love riding by e.e. cummings 51 Comments
55456 am was. Comments and analysis of am was. by e.e. cummings 63 Comments
48837 i am a little church Comments and analysis of i am a little church by e.e. cummings 272 Comments
48818 in spite of everything Comments and analysis of in spite of everything by e.e. cummings 256 Comments
46440 my sweet old etcetera... (X) Comments and analysis of my sweet old etcetera... (X) by e.e. cummings 40 Comments
46220 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
43780 the boys i mean are not refined Comments and analysis of the boys i mean are not refined by e.e. cummings 316 Comments
43328 if everything happens that can't be done Comments and analysis of if everything happens that can't be done by e.e. cummings 289 Comments
42450 you said Is (XIII) Comments and analysis of you said Is (XIII) by e.e. cummings 7 Comments
40330 (will you teach a... (12) Comments and analysis of (will you teach a... (12) by e.e. cummings 64 Comments
40079 Sometimes I Am Alive Because With Comments and analysis of Sometimes I Am Alive Because With by e.e. cummings 9 Comments
39654 Little Tree Comments and analysis of Little Tree by e.e. cummings 68 Comments
39285 Buffalo Bill's Comments and analysis of Buffalo Bill's by e.e. cummings 411 Comments
39001 nobody loses all the time (X) Comments and analysis of nobody loses all the time (X) by e.e. cummings 31 Comments
36362 your little voice... (I) Comments and analysis of your little voice... (I) by e.e. cummings 56 Comments
35710 in a middle of a room Comments and analysis of in a middle of a room by e.e. cummings 70 Comments
33787 but if a living dance upon dead minds Comments and analysis of but if a living dance upon dead minds by e.e. cummings 66 Comments
33237 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 296 Comments
31998 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
31545 pity this busy monster,manunkind... (XIV) Comments and analysis of pity this busy monster,manunkind... (XIV) by e.e. cummings 71 Comments
30861 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 255 Comments
30805 silence... (40) Comments and analysis of silence... (40) by e.e. cummings 11 Comments
30744 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
30639 i go to this window Comments and analysis of i go to this window by e.e. cummings 6 Comments
29828 once like a spark... (XXIV) Comments and analysis of once like a spark... (XXIV) by e.e. cummings 2 Comments
28446 nothing false and possible is love... (XXXIV) Comments and analysis of nothing false and possible is love... (XXXIV) by e.e. cummings 7 Comments
28337 I Am A Beggar Always Comments and analysis of I Am A Beggar Always by e.e. cummings 257 Comments
27909 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 323 Comments
27627 enter no Comments and analysis of enter no by e.e. cummings 9 Comments
27000 Thy fingers make early flowers of... (IV) Comments and analysis of Thy fingers make early flowers of... (IV) by e.e. cummings 83 Comments
26711 here's to opening and upward Comments and analysis of here's to opening and upward by e.e. cummings 6 Comments
25657 when god lets my body be Comments and analysis of when god lets my body be by e.e. cummings 75 Comments
25289 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 46 Comments
24662 gee i like to think of dead Comments and analysis of gee i like to think of dead by e.e. cummings 277 Comments
24475 Jehovah buried,Satan dead, Comments and analysis of Jehovah buried,Satan dead, by e.e. cummings 318 Comments
24113 voices to voices,lip to lip... (XXXIII) Comments and analysis of voices to voices,lip to lip... (XXXIII) by e.e. cummings 8 Comments
24087 moan... (7) Comments and analysis of moan... (7) by e.e. cummings 8 Comments
23980 n(o)w... Comments and analysis of n(o)w... by e.e. cummings 22 Comments
23782 hate blows a bubble of despair into Comments and analysis of hate blows a bubble of despair into by e.e. cummings 46 Comments
23343 the Cambridge ladies who live in furnished souls Comments and analysis of the Cambridge ladies who live in furnished souls by e.e. cummings 140 Comments
22947 flotsam and jetsam Comments and analysis of flotsam and jetsam by e.e. cummings 1 Comment
22713 Fame Speaks Comments and analysis of Fame Speaks by e.e. cummings 11 Comments
21980 INTRODUCTION from New Poems Comments and analysis of INTRODUCTION from New Poems by e.e. cummings 233 Comments
21754 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
20610 now is a ship... (9) Comments and analysis of now is a ship... (9) by e.e. cummings 259 Comments
20272 now does our world descend... Comments and analysis of now does our world descend... by e.e. cummings 11 Comments
18762 Skating (4) Comments and analysis of Skating (4) by e.e. cummings 8 Comments
18288 a light Out) Comments and analysis of a light Out) by e.e. cummings 3 Comments
18126 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
17557 if i have made,my lady,intricate Comments and analysis of if i have made,my lady,intricate by e.e. cummings 1 Comment
16734 when life is quite through with... (II) Comments and analysis of when life is quite through with... (II) by e.e. cummings 3 Comments
16261 FOREWARD, is 5 Comments and analysis of FOREWARD, is 5 by e.e. cummings 20 Comments
15455 ecco a letter starting"dearest we" Comments and analysis of ecco a letter starting 2 Comments
15414 there are so many tictoc... Comments and analysis of there are so many tictoc... by e.e. cummings 7 Comments
14825 fl... (2) Comments and analysis of fl... (2) by e.e. cummings 78 Comments
13398 six... (21) Comments and analysis of six... (21) by e.e. cummings 2 Comments
12534 spring omnipotent goddess Thou Comments and analysis of spring omnipotent goddess Thou by e.e. cummings 17 Comments
12262 kumrads die because they're told) Comments and analysis of kumrads die because they're told) by e.e. cummings 7 Comments
12206 spoke joe to jack... (10) Comments and analysis of spoke joe to jack... (10) by e.e. cummings 4 Comments
12146 yonder deadfromtheneckup graduate... (V) Comments and analysis of yonder deadfromtheneckup graduate... (V) by e.e. cummings 6 Comments
11250 this(let's remember)day died again and...
10788 this evangelist... (XXIX) Comments and analysis of this evangelist... (XXIX) by e.e. cummings 216 Comments
10342 suppose... (VIII) Comments and analysis of suppose... (VIII) by e.e. cummings 54 Comments
10137 why did you go... (IV) Comments and analysis of why did you go... (IV) by e.e. cummings 242 Comments
10084 ordinary wind is winding(cold face blush Comments and analysis of ordinary wind is winding(cold face blush by e.e. cummings 1 Comment
9134 speaking of love(of... (LV) Comments and analysis of speaking of love(of... (LV) by e.e. cummings 4 Comments
8347 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
7552 yes is a pleasant country... (XXXVIII) Comments and analysis of yes is a pleasant country... (XXXVIII) by e.e. cummings 10 Comments
7411 you shall above all things... (22) Comments and analysis of you shall above all things... (22) by e.e. cummings 27 Comments
7347 (and i imagine... (XII) Comments and analysis of (and i imagine... (XII) by e.e. cummings 228 Comments
7004 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
6155 of all the blessings which to man... (IV) Comments and analysis of of all the blessings which to man... (IV) by e.e. cummings 32 Comments
5900 !blac... (1) Comments and analysis of !blac... (1) by e.e. cummings 684 Comments
5352 proud of his scientific attitude... (13) Comments and analysis of proud of his scientific attitude... (13) by e.e. cummings 3 Comments
5132 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
4896 in Just- Comments and analysis of in Just- by e.e. cummings 770 Comments
3603 somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond Comments and analysis of somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond by e.e. cummings 261 Comments
3344 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 94 Comments
3274 my mind is... (XXV) Comments and analysis of my mind is... (XXV) by e.e. cummings 30 Comments
3201 (Me up at does) Comments and analysis of (Me up at does) by e.e. cummings 142 Comments
3126 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
3067 Seeker Of Truth Comments and analysis of Seeker Of Truth by e.e. cummings 35 Comments
2761 Marianne Moore (35) Comments and analysis of Marianne Moore (35) by e.e. cummings 1 Comment
2742 1(a... (a leaf falls on loneliness) Comments and analysis of 1(a... (a leaf falls on loneliness) by e.e. cummings 261 Comments
2669 nobody loved this... (4) Comments and analysis of nobody loved this... (4) by e.e. cummings 8 Comments
2655 i carry your heart with me Comments and analysis of i carry your heart with me by e.e. cummings 829 Comments
2633 Epithalamion Comments and analysis of Epithalamion by e.e. cummings 7 Comments
2606 she being Brand... (XIX) Comments and analysis of she being Brand... (XIX) by e.e. cummings 94 Comments
2522 in time of daffodils Comments and analysis of in time of daffodils by e.e. cummings 47 Comments
2402 "Gay" is the captivating cognomen Comments and analysis of 323 Comments
2335 because i love you)last night Comments and analysis of because i love you)last night by e.e. cummings 8 Comments
2284 a pretty a day Comments and analysis of a pretty a day by e.e. cummings 10 Comments
2236 i sing of Olaf glad and big Comments and analysis of i sing of Olaf glad and big by e.e. cummings 298 Comments
2218 since feeling is first... (VII) Comments and analysis of since feeling is first... (VII) by e.e. cummings 419 Comments
2177 it may not always be so Comments and analysis of it may not always be so by e.e. cummings 106 Comments
2090 a man who had fallen among thieves Comments and analysis of a man who had fallen among thieves by e.e. cummings 113 Comments
2017 i am so glad and very Comments and analysis of i am so glad and very by e.e. cummings 272 Comments
2013 it is at moments after I have dreamed Comments and analysis of it is at moments after I have dreamed by e.e. cummings 81 Comments
1934 all ignorance toboggans into know Comments and analysis of all ignorance toboggans into know by e.e. cummings 265 Comments
1909 if there are any heavens my mother will Comments and analysis of if there are any heavens my mother will by e.e. cummings 33 Comments
1900 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
1869 as freedom is a breakfastfood Comments and analysis of as freedom is a breakfastfood by e.e. cummings 20 Comments
1753 because it's Comments and analysis of because it's by e.e. cummings 11 Comments
1675 a total stranger one black day Comments and analysis of a total stranger one black day by e.e. cummings 18 Comments
1636 love is a place... (58) Comments and analysis of love is a place... (58) by e.e. cummings 17 Comments
1622 my love is building a building... (XII) Comments and analysis of my love is building a building... (XII) by e.e. cummings 3 Comments
1490 if you like my poems let them Comments and analysis of if you like my poems let them by e.e. cummings 116 Comments
1486 here is little Effie's head Comments and analysis of here is little Effie's head by e.e. cummings 28 Comments
1458 O sweet spontaneous Comments and analysis of O sweet spontaneous by e.e. cummings 5 Comments
1385 may i feel said he Comments and analysis of may i feel said he by e.e. cummings 169 Comments
1374 Poem, Or Beauty Hurts Mr. Vinal Comments and analysis of Poem, Or Beauty Hurts Mr. Vinal by e.e. cummings 263 Comments
1371 into the strenuous briefness Comments and analysis of into the strenuous briefness by e.e. cummings 201 Comments
1371 into the strenuous briefness
1357 lily has a rose Comments and analysis of lily has a rose by e.e. cummings 6 Comments
1348 )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
1329 Picasso... (XXIII) Comments and analysis of Picasso... (XXIII) by e.e. cummings 9 Comments
1327 my father moved through dooms of love Comments and analysis of my father moved through dooms of love by e.e. cummings 89 Comments
1252 Tumbling-hair/ picker of buttercups/ violets... (V) Comments and analysis of Tumbling-hair/ picker of buttercups/ violets... (V) by e.e. cummings 267 Comments
1244 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
1190 Doveglion Comments and analysis of Doveglion by e.e. cummings 53 Comments
1149 guilt is the cause of more disorders Comments and analysis of guilt is the cause of more disorders by e.e. cummings 6 Comments
1121 up into the silence the green... (41) Comments and analysis of up into the silence the green... (41) by e.e. cummings 6 Comments
1109 red-rag and pink-flag... (11) Comments and analysis of red-rag and pink-flag... (11) by e.e. cummings 6 Comments
1097 listen... (III) Comments and analysis of listen... (III) by e.e. cummings 6 Comments
1094 mrs... (15)
1071 but the other Comments and analysis of but the other by e.e. cummings 6 Comments
1031 anyone lived in a pretty how town Comments and analysis of anyone lived in a pretty how town by e.e. cummings 904 Comments
1030 now what were motionless move(exists no... (89) Comments and analysis of now what were motionless move(exists no... (89) by e.e. cummings 24 Comments
967 dead every enourmous piece Comments and analysis of dead every enourmous piece by e.e. cummings 15 Comments
965 who sharpens every dull... (26) Comments and analysis of who sharpens every dull... (26) by e.e. cummings 2 Comments
826 Where's Madge then, Comments and analysis of Where's Madge then, by e.e. cummings 2 Comments
821 l(a Comments and analysis of l(a by e.e. cummings 29 Comments
814 i thank you God for most this amazing Comments and analysis of i thank you God for most this amazing by e.e. cummings 345 Comments
788 warped this perhapsy... (9) Comments and analysis of warped this perhapsy... (9) by e.e. cummings 7 Comments
708 but mr can you maybe listen there's Comments and analysis of but mr can you maybe listen there's by e.e. cummings 269 Comments
451 you being in love... (XII) Comments and analysis of you being in love... (XII) by e.e. cummings 277 Comments
427 who knows if the moon's... (VII) Comments and analysis of who knows if the moon's... (VII) by e.e. cummings 321 Comments
415 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
415 buy me an ounce and i'll sell you a pound.
385 youful... (17) Comments and analysis of youful... (17) by e.e. cummings 40 Comments
141 there is a here and... (19)
42 Of Nicolette Comments and analysis of Of Nicolette by e.e. cummings 3 Comments
38 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 381 Comments
27 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 32 Comments
14 Now i lay(with everywhere around)... (44) Comments and analysis of Now i lay(with everywhere around)... (44) by e.e. cummings 9 Comments
14 Spring is like a perhaps hand Comments and analysis of Spring is like a perhaps hand by e.e. cummings 63 Comments


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