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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
89363 dying is fine)but Death Comments and analysis of dying is fine)but Death by e.e. cummings 142 Comments
77474 supposing i dreamed this)... (IX) Comments and analysis of supposing i dreamed this)... (IX) by e.e. cummings 26 Comments
75108 maggie and milly and molly and may Comments and analysis of maggie and milly and molly and may by e.e. cummings 420 Comments
73614 i have found what you are like Comments and analysis of i have found what you are like by e.e. cummings 289 Comments
70295 between the breasts Comments and analysis of between the breasts by e.e. cummings 11 Comments
61356 i shall imagine life Comments and analysis of i shall imagine life by e.e. cummings 20 Comments
51042 in spite of everything Comments and analysis of in spite of everything by e.e. cummings 265 Comments
48320 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
43786 you said Is (XIII) Comments and analysis of you said Is (XIII) by e.e. cummings 13 Comments
43104 Little Tree Comments and analysis of Little Tree by e.e. cummings 76 Comments
41839 (will you teach a... (12) Comments and analysis of (will you teach a... (12) by e.e. cummings 76 Comments
41614 Sometimes I Am Alive Because With Comments and analysis of Sometimes I Am Alive Because With by e.e. cummings 13 Comments
40181 nobody loses all the time (X) Comments and analysis of nobody loses all the time (X) by e.e. cummings 39 Comments
38114 your little voice... (I) Comments and analysis of your little voice... (I) by e.e. cummings 70 Comments
36753 in a middle of a room Comments and analysis of in a middle of a room by e.e. cummings 86 Comments
35045 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
34554 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 320 Comments
31939 silence... (40) Comments and analysis of silence... (40) by e.e. cummings 17 Comments
31469 i go to this window Comments and analysis of i go to this window by e.e. cummings 7 Comments
31191 once like a spark... (XXIV) Comments and analysis of once like a spark... (XXIV) by e.e. cummings 2 Comments
29391 nothing false and possible is love... (XXXIV) Comments and analysis of nothing false and possible is love... (XXXIV) by e.e. cummings 7 Comments
29263 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 341 Comments
28770 enter no Comments and analysis of enter no by e.e. cummings 9 Comments
28392 Thy fingers make early flowers of... (IV) Comments and analysis of Thy fingers make early flowers of... (IV) by e.e. cummings 103 Comments
27842 here's to opening and upward Comments and analysis of here's to opening and upward by e.e. cummings 9 Comments
26772 when god lets my body be Comments and analysis of when god lets my body be by e.e. cummings 85 Comments
25885 gee i like to think of dead Comments and analysis of gee i like to think of dead by e.e. cummings 288 Comments
25692 Jehovah buried,Satan dead, Comments and analysis of Jehovah buried,Satan dead, by e.e. cummings 336 Comments
25435 voices to voices,lip to lip... (XXXIII) Comments and analysis of voices to voices,lip to lip... (XXXIII) by e.e. cummings 25 Comments
24987 n(o)w... Comments and analysis of n(o)w... by e.e. cummings 28 Comments
24843 hate blows a bubble of despair into Comments and analysis of hate blows a bubble of despair into by e.e. cummings 52 Comments
24803 moan... (7) Comments and analysis of moan... (7) by e.e. cummings 9 Comments
24183 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
23696 Fame Speaks Comments and analysis of Fame Speaks by e.e. cummings 15 Comments
23061 INTRODUCTION from New Poems Comments and analysis of INTRODUCTION from New Poems by e.e. cummings 237 Comments
21786 now is a ship... (9) Comments and analysis of now is a ship... (9) by e.e. cummings 265 Comments
19438 Skating (4) Comments and analysis of Skating (4) by e.e. cummings 11 Comments
19012 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
18964 a light Out) Comments and analysis of a light Out) by e.e. cummings 3 Comments
18513 if i have made,my lady,intricate Comments and analysis of if i have made,my lady,intricate by e.e. cummings 1 Comment
17214 FOREWARD, is 5 Comments and analysis of FOREWARD, is 5 by e.e. cummings 30 Comments
16389 there are so many tictoc... Comments and analysis of there are so many tictoc... by e.e. cummings 13 Comments
15588 fl... (2) Comments and analysis of fl... (2) by e.e. cummings 90 Comments
13263 spring omnipotent goddess Thou Comments and analysis of spring omnipotent goddess Thou by e.e. cummings 18 Comments
12916 yonder deadfromtheneckup graduate... (V) Comments and analysis of yonder deadfromtheneckup graduate... (V) by e.e. cummings 9 Comments
12914 spoke joe to jack... (10) Comments and analysis of spoke joe to jack... (10) by e.e. cummings 4 Comments
12910 kumrads die because they're told) Comments and analysis of kumrads die because they're told) by e.e. cummings 7 Comments
11477 this evangelist... (XXIX) Comments and analysis of this evangelist... (XXIX) by e.e. cummings 224 Comments
11209 why did you go... (IV) Comments and analysis of why did you go... (IV) by e.e. cummings 247 Comments
11202 suppose... (VIII) Comments and analysis of suppose... (VIII) by e.e. cummings 63 Comments
10696 ordinary wind is winding(cold face blush Comments and analysis of ordinary wind is winding(cold face blush by e.e. cummings 1 Comment
9930 speaking of love(of... (LV) Comments and analysis of speaking of love(of... (LV) by e.e. cummings 4 Comments
9097 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
8252 you shall above all things... (22) Comments and analysis of you shall above all things... (22) by e.e. cummings 32 Comments
8043 yes is a pleasant country... (XXXVIII) Comments and analysis of yes is a pleasant country... (XXXVIII) by e.e. cummings 10 Comments
7878 (and i imagine... (XII) Comments and analysis of (and i imagine... (XII) by e.e. cummings 235 Comments
6122 Marianne Moore (35) Comments and analysis of Marianne Moore (35) by e.e. cummings 1 Comment
5662 somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond Comments and analysis of somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond by e.e. cummings 292 Comments
5555 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
5448 proud of his scientific attitude... (13) Comments and analysis of proud of his scientific attitude... (13) by e.e. cummings 3 Comments
5352 (Me up at does) Comments and analysis of (Me up at does) by e.e. cummings 173 Comments
4877 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
4647 Seeker Of Truth Comments and analysis of Seeker Of Truth by e.e. cummings 35 Comments
4569 in time of daffodils Comments and analysis of in time of daffodils by e.e. cummings 71 Comments
4347 Of Nicolette Comments and analysis of Of Nicolette by e.e. cummings 3 Comments
4311 nobody loved this... (4) Comments and analysis of nobody loved this... (4) by e.e. cummings 11 Comments
4286 1(a... (a leaf falls on loneliness) Comments and analysis of 1(a... (a leaf falls on loneliness) by e.e. cummings 281 Comments
4216 she being Brand... (XIX) Comments and analysis of she being Brand... (XIX) by e.e. cummings 102 Comments
4009 since feeling is first... (VII) Comments and analysis of since feeling is first... (VII) by e.e. cummings 441 Comments
4004 i sing of Olaf glad and big Comments and analysis of i sing of Olaf glad and big by e.e. cummings 308 Comments
3957 "Gay" is the captivating cognomen Comments and analysis of 329 Comments
3849 anyone lived in a pretty how town Comments and analysis of anyone lived in a pretty how town by e.e. cummings 946 Comments
3590 it may not always be so Comments and analysis of it may not always be so by e.e. cummings 114 Comments
3587 a man who had fallen among thieves Comments and analysis of a man who had fallen among thieves by e.e. cummings 126 Comments
3544 it is at moments after I have dreamed Comments and analysis of it is at moments after I have dreamed by e.e. cummings 87 Comments
3527 because i love you)last night Comments and analysis of because i love you)last night by e.e. cummings 8 Comments
3435 a pretty a day Comments and analysis of a pretty a day by e.e. cummings 10 Comments
3251 all ignorance toboggans into know Comments and analysis of all ignorance toboggans into know by e.e. cummings 277 Comments
3164 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
3148 mrs... (15)
3064 a total stranger one black day Comments and analysis of a total stranger one black day by e.e. cummings 18 Comments
3021 my love is building a building... (XII) Comments and analysis of my love is building a building... (XII) by e.e. cummings 10 Comments
2947 if you like my poems let them Comments and analysis of if you like my poems let them by e.e. cummings 125 Comments
2929 may i feel said he Comments and analysis of may i feel said he by e.e. cummings 189 Comments
2916 because it's Comments and analysis of because it's by e.e. cummings 17 Comments
2699 love is a place... (58) Comments and analysis of love is a place... (58) by e.e. cummings 37 Comments
2622 Poem, Or Beauty Hurts Mr. Vinal Comments and analysis of Poem, Or Beauty Hurts Mr. Vinal by e.e. cummings 277 Comments
2603 i thank you God for most this amazing Comments and analysis of i thank you God for most this amazing by e.e. cummings 363 Comments
2596 here is little Effie's head Comments and analysis of here is little Effie's head by e.e. cummings 38 Comments
2553 in Just- Comments and analysis of in Just- by e.e. cummings 815 Comments
2495 i carry your heart with me Comments and analysis of i carry your heart with me by e.e. cummings 846 Comments
2489 l(a Comments and analysis of l(a by e.e. cummings 35 Comments
2481 into the strenuous briefness Comments and analysis of into the strenuous briefness by e.e. cummings 206 Comments
2481 into the strenuous briefness
2476 mr youse needn't be so spry... (XVIII) Comments and analysis of mr youse needn't be so spry... (XVIII) by e.e. cummings 72 Comments
2337 O sweet spontaneous Comments and analysis of O sweet spontaneous by e.e. cummings 5 Comments
2274 )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
2201 guilt is the cause of more disorders Comments and analysis of guilt is the cause of more disorders by e.e. cummings 7 Comments
2161 Doveglion Comments and analysis of Doveglion by e.e. cummings 57 Comments
2123 Tumbling-hair/ picker of buttercups/ violets... (V) Comments and analysis of Tumbling-hair/ picker of buttercups/ violets... (V) by e.e. cummings 273 Comments
1985 the boys i mean are not refined Comments and analysis of the boys i mean are not refined by e.e. cummings 333 Comments
1946 up into the silence the green... (41) Comments and analysis of up into the silence the green... (41) by e.e. cummings 7 Comments
1919 listen... (III) Comments and analysis of listen... (III) by e.e. cummings 15 Comments
1876 but the other Comments and analysis of but the other by e.e. cummings 9 Comments
1823 red-rag and pink-flag... (11) Comments and analysis of red-rag and pink-flag... (11) by e.e. cummings 7 Comments
1821 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
1803 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
1687 who sharpens every dull... (26) Comments and analysis of who sharpens every dull... (26) by e.e. cummings 2 Comments
1675 you being in love... (XII) Comments and analysis of you being in love... (XII) by e.e. cummings 284 Comments
1646 dead every enourmous piece Comments and analysis of dead every enourmous piece by e.e. cummings 21 Comments
1589 who knows if the moon's... (VII) Comments and analysis of who knows if the moon's... (VII) by e.e. cummings 334 Comments
1527 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 398 Comments
1515 Humanity i love you Comments and analysis of Humanity i love you by e.e. cummings 581 Comments
1453 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
1453 buy me an ounce and i'll sell you a pound.
1412 warped this perhapsy... (9) Comments and analysis of warped this perhapsy... (9) by e.e. cummings 9 Comments
1412 Where's Madge then, Comments and analysis of Where's Madge then, by e.e. cummings 2 Comments
1410 Snow Comments and analysis of Snow by e.e. cummings 120 Comments
1339 i am a little church Comments and analysis of i am a little church by e.e. cummings 285 Comments
1246 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 269 Comments
1235 Epithalamion Comments and analysis of Epithalamion by e.e. cummings 7 Comments
1194 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
1175 youful... (17) Comments and analysis of youful... (17) by e.e. cummings 43 Comments
1159 Buffalo Bill's Comments and analysis of Buffalo Bill's by e.e. cummings 434 Comments
1114 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 93 Comments
1054 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
1027 my mind is... (XXV) Comments and analysis of my mind is... (XXV) by e.e. cummings 34 Comments
890 am was. Comments and analysis of am was. by e.e. cummings 70 Comments
882 i am so glad and very Comments and analysis of i am so glad and very by e.e. cummings 284 Comments
870 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
833 Spring is like a perhaps hand Comments and analysis of Spring is like a perhaps hand by e.e. cummings 67 Comments
812 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
775 there is a here and... (19)
756 Now i lay(with everywhere around)... (44) Comments and analysis of Now i lay(with everywhere around)... (44) by e.e. cummings 9 Comments
734 flotsam and jetsam Comments and analysis of flotsam and jetsam by e.e. cummings 2 Comments
701 Picasso... (XXIII) Comments and analysis of Picasso... (XXIII) by e.e. cummings 9 Comments
690 when life is quite through with... (II) Comments and analysis of when life is quite through with... (II) by e.e. cummings 3 Comments
626 now does our world descend... Comments and analysis of now does our world descend... by e.e. cummings 26 Comments
563 this(let's remember)day died again and...
551 I Am A Beggar Always Comments and analysis of I Am A Beggar Always by e.e. cummings 277 Comments
530 my father moved through dooms of love Comments and analysis of my father moved through dooms of love by e.e. cummings 95 Comments
482 my sweet old etcetera... (X) Comments and analysis of my sweet old etcetera... (X) by e.e. cummings 48 Comments
428 lily has a rose Comments and analysis of lily has a rose by e.e. cummings 6 Comments
423 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
419 pity this busy monster,manunkind... (XIV) Comments and analysis of pity this busy monster,manunkind... (XIV) by e.e. cummings 79 Comments
369 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
333 six... (21) Comments and analysis of six... (21) by e.e. cummings 2 Comments
321 ecco a letter starting"dearest we" Comments and analysis of ecco a letter starting 2 Comments
318 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
300 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
254 2 little whos Comments and analysis of 2 little whos by e.e. cummings 543 Comments
182 All in green went my love riding Comments and analysis of All in green went my love riding by e.e. cummings 62 Comments
11 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
1 !blac... (1) Comments and analysis of !blac... (1) by e.e. cummings 702 Comments
1 as freedom is a breakfastfood Comments and analysis of as freedom is a breakfastfood by e.e. cummings 38 Comments


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