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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
141746 Snow Comments and analysis of Snow by e.e. cummings 105 Comments
84170 dying is fine)but Death Comments and analysis of dying is fine)but Death by e.e. cummings 126 Comments
72510 supposing i dreamed this)... (IX) Comments and analysis of supposing i dreamed this)... (IX) by e.e. cummings 19 Comments
72146 maggie and milly and molly and may Comments and analysis of maggie and milly and molly and may by e.e. cummings 400 Comments
71713 Humanity i love you Comments and analysis of Humanity i love you by e.e. cummings 522 Comments
69594 i have found what you are like Comments and analysis of i have found what you are like by e.e. cummings 262 Comments
67410 between the breasts Comments and analysis of between the breasts by e.e. cummings 11 Comments
65900 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 371 Comments
65614 2 little whos Comments and analysis of 2 little whos by e.e. cummings 490 Comments
57969 i shall imagine life Comments and analysis of i shall imagine life by e.e. cummings 10 Comments
55219 All in green went my love riding Comments and analysis of All in green went my love riding by e.e. cummings 46 Comments
54856 am was. Comments and analysis of am was. by e.e. cummings 61 Comments
48161 in spite of everything Comments and analysis of in spite of everything by e.e. cummings 246 Comments
48092 i am a little church Comments and analysis of i am a little church by e.e. cummings 263 Comments
46180 my sweet old etcetera... (X) Comments and analysis of my sweet old etcetera... (X) by e.e. cummings 38 Comments
45770 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
43370 the boys i mean are not refined Comments and analysis of the boys i mean are not refined by e.e. cummings 303 Comments
42970 if everything happens that can't be done Comments and analysis of if everything happens that can't be done by e.e. cummings 279 Comments
42163 you said Is (XIII) Comments and analysis of you said Is (XIII) by e.e. cummings 5 Comments
39933 (will you teach a... (12) Comments and analysis of (will you teach a... (12) by e.e. cummings 56 Comments
39851 Sometimes I Am Alive Because With Comments and analysis of Sometimes I Am Alive Because With by e.e. cummings 7 Comments
39430 Little Tree Comments and analysis of Little Tree by e.e. cummings 64 Comments
39005 Buffalo Bill's Comments and analysis of Buffalo Bill's by e.e. cummings 403 Comments
38731 nobody loses all the time (X) Comments and analysis of nobody loses all the time (X) by e.e. cummings 31 Comments
35905 your little voice... (I) Comments and analysis of your little voice... (I) by e.e. cummings 55 Comments
35377 in a middle of a room Comments and analysis of in a middle of a room by e.e. cummings 64 Comments
33486 but if a living dance upon dead minds Comments and analysis of but if a living dance upon dead minds by e.e. cummings 63 Comments
32965 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 287 Comments
31741 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
31162 pity this busy monster,manunkind... (XIV) Comments and analysis of pity this busy monster,manunkind... (XIV) by e.e. cummings 65 Comments
30590 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 246 Comments
30510 silence... (40) Comments and analysis of silence... (40) by e.e. cummings 8 Comments
30281 i go to this window Comments and analysis of i go to this window by e.e. cummings 6 Comments
30228 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
29492 once like a spark... (XXIV) Comments and analysis of once like a spark... (XXIV) by e.e. cummings 2 Comments
28348 Spring is like a perhaps hand Comments and analysis of Spring is like a perhaps hand by e.e. cummings 61 Comments
28205 nothing false and possible is love... (XXXIV) Comments and analysis of nothing false and possible is love... (XXXIV) by e.e. cummings 7 Comments
28066 I Am A Beggar Always Comments and analysis of I Am A Beggar Always by e.e. cummings 248 Comments
27537 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 303 Comments
27333 enter no Comments and analysis of enter no by e.e. cummings 9 Comments
26645 Thy fingers make early flowers of... (IV) Comments and analysis of Thy fingers make early flowers of... (IV) by e.e. cummings 83 Comments
26421 here's to opening and upward Comments and analysis of here's to opening and upward by e.e. cummings 6 Comments
25389 when god lets my body be Comments and analysis of when god lets my body be by e.e. cummings 66 Comments
24486 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 44 Comments
24360 gee i like to think of dead Comments and analysis of gee i like to think of dead by e.e. cummings 261 Comments
24187 Jehovah buried,Satan dead, Comments and analysis of Jehovah buried,Satan dead, by e.e. cummings 305 Comments
23912 moan... (7) Comments and analysis of moan... (7) by e.e. cummings 8 Comments
23782 voices to voices,lip to lip... (XXXIII) Comments and analysis of voices to voices,lip to lip... (XXXIII) by e.e. cummings 5 Comments
23743 n(o)w... Comments and analysis of n(o)w... by e.e. cummings 22 Comments
23491 hate blows a bubble of despair into Comments and analysis of hate blows a bubble of despair into by e.e. cummings 42 Comments
23102 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
22726 flotsam and jetsam Comments and analysis of flotsam and jetsam by e.e. cummings 1 Comment
22429 Fame Speaks Comments and analysis of Fame Speaks by e.e. cummings 7 Comments
21662 INTRODUCTION from New Poems Comments and analysis of INTRODUCTION from New Poems by e.e. cummings 226 Comments
21545 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
20651 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
20326 now is a ship... (9) Comments and analysis of now is a ship... (9) by e.e. cummings 249 Comments
20020 now does our world descend... Comments and analysis of now does our world descend... by e.e. cummings 10 Comments
19164 Now i lay(with everywhere around)... (44) Comments and analysis of Now i lay(with everywhere around)... (44) by e.e. cummings 9 Comments
18581 Skating (4) Comments and analysis of Skating (4) by e.e. cummings 7 Comments
18109 a light Out) Comments and analysis of a light Out) by e.e. cummings 3 Comments
17865 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
17287 if i have made,my lady,intricate Comments and analysis of if i have made,my lady,intricate by e.e. cummings 1 Comment
16684 there is a here and... (19)
16527 when life is quite through with... (II) Comments and analysis of when life is quite through with... (II) by e.e. cummings 3 Comments
16008 FOREWARD, is 5 Comments and analysis of FOREWARD, is 5 by e.e. cummings 18 Comments
15300 ecco a letter starting"dearest we" Comments and analysis of ecco a letter starting 2 Comments
15174 there are so many tictoc... Comments and analysis of there are so many tictoc... by e.e. cummings 7 Comments
14566 fl... (2) Comments and analysis of fl... (2) by e.e. cummings 72 Comments
13240 six... (21) Comments and analysis of six... (21) by e.e. cummings 2 Comments
12285 spring omnipotent goddess Thou Comments and analysis of spring omnipotent goddess Thou by e.e. cummings 17 Comments
12047 kumrads die because they're told) Comments and analysis of kumrads die because they're told) by e.e. cummings 7 Comments
12021 spoke joe to jack... (10) Comments and analysis of spoke joe to jack... (10) by e.e. cummings 4 Comments
11920 yonder deadfromtheneckup graduate... (V) Comments and analysis of yonder deadfromtheneckup graduate... (V) by e.e. cummings 5 Comments
11083 this(let's remember)day died again and...
10628 this evangelist... (XXIX) Comments and analysis of this evangelist... (XXIX) by e.e. cummings 209 Comments
10124 suppose... (VIII) Comments and analysis of suppose... (VIII) by e.e. cummings 51 Comments
9904 ordinary wind is winding(cold face blush Comments and analysis of ordinary wind is winding(cold face blush by e.e. cummings 1 Comment
9898 why did you go... (IV) Comments and analysis of why did you go... (IV) by e.e. cummings 228 Comments
9756 Marianne Moore (35) Comments and analysis of Marianne Moore (35) by e.e. cummings 1 Comment
8935 speaking of love(of... (LV) Comments and analysis of speaking of love(of... (LV) by e.e. cummings 4 Comments
8181 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
7326 yes is a pleasant country... (XXXVIII) Comments and analysis of yes is a pleasant country... (XXXVIII) by e.e. cummings 10 Comments
7180 you shall above all things... (22) Comments and analysis of you shall above all things... (22) by e.e. cummings 24 Comments
7157 (and i imagine... (XII) Comments and analysis of (and i imagine... (XII) by e.e. cummings 221 Comments
6847 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
5937 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
5656 !blac... (1) Comments and analysis of !blac... (1) by e.e. cummings 668 Comments
5179 proud of his scientific attitude... (13) Comments and analysis of proud of his scientific attitude... (13) by e.e. cummings 3 Comments
4937 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
4261 Of Nicolette Comments and analysis of Of Nicolette by e.e. cummings 3 Comments
4182 in Just- Comments and analysis of in Just- by e.e. cummings 734 Comments
3115 somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond Comments and analysis of somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond by e.e. cummings 254 Comments
2915 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
2755 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
2686 (Me up at does) Comments and analysis of (Me up at does) by e.e. cummings 141 Comments
2539 Seeker Of Truth Comments and analysis of Seeker Of Truth by e.e. cummings 32 Comments
2212 Epithalamion Comments and analysis of Epithalamion by e.e. cummings 6 Comments
2208 1(a... (a leaf falls on loneliness) Comments and analysis of 1(a... (a leaf falls on loneliness) by e.e. cummings 254 Comments
2197 she being Brand... (XIX) Comments and analysis of she being Brand... (XIX) by e.e. cummings 93 Comments
2033 "Gay" is the captivating cognomen Comments and analysis of 319 Comments
2024 in time of daffodils Comments and analysis of in time of daffodils by e.e. cummings 42 Comments
2006 nobody loved this... (4) Comments and analysis of nobody loved this... (4) by e.e. cummings 8 Comments
1955 because i love you)last night Comments and analysis of because i love you)last night by e.e. cummings 8 Comments
1869 since feeling is first... (VII) Comments and analysis of since feeling is first... (VII) by e.e. cummings 415 Comments
1857 a pretty a day Comments and analysis of a pretty a day by e.e. cummings 10 Comments
1833 i sing of Olaf glad and big Comments and analysis of i sing of Olaf glad and big by e.e. cummings 288 Comments
1806 it may not always be so Comments and analysis of it may not always be so by e.e. cummings 101 Comments
1703 a man who had fallen among thieves Comments and analysis of a man who had fallen among thieves by e.e. cummings 109 Comments
1659 all ignorance toboggans into know Comments and analysis of all ignorance toboggans into know by e.e. cummings 258 Comments
1628 it is at moments after I have dreamed Comments and analysis of it is at moments after I have dreamed by e.e. cummings 77 Comments
1615 i am so glad and very Comments and analysis of i am so glad and very by e.e. cummings 258 Comments
1567 as freedom is a breakfastfood Comments and analysis of as freedom is a breakfastfood by e.e. cummings 14 Comments
1554 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
1506 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
1400 a total stranger one black day Comments and analysis of a total stranger one black day by e.e. cummings 18 Comments
1363 love is a place... (58) Comments and analysis of love is a place... (58) by e.e. cummings 17 Comments
1336 my love is building a building... (XII) Comments and analysis of my love is building a building... (XII) by e.e. cummings 3 Comments
1336 because it's Comments and analysis of because it's by e.e. cummings 7 Comments
1261 if you like my poems let them Comments and analysis of if you like my poems let them by e.e. cummings 109 Comments
1195 O sweet spontaneous Comments and analysis of O sweet spontaneous by e.e. cummings 5 Comments
1147 here is little Effie's head Comments and analysis of here is little Effie's head by e.e. cummings 25 Comments
1144 my mind is... (XXV) Comments and analysis of my mind is... (XXV) by e.e. cummings 27 Comments
1134 )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
1109 Poem, Or Beauty Hurts Mr. Vinal Comments and analysis of Poem, Or Beauty Hurts Mr. Vinal by e.e. cummings 254 Comments
1097 lily has a rose Comments and analysis of lily has a rose by e.e. cummings 6 Comments
1090 into the strenuous briefness Comments and analysis of into the strenuous briefness by e.e. cummings 198 Comments
1090 into the strenuous briefness
1079 my father moved through dooms of love Comments and analysis of my father moved through dooms of love by e.e. cummings 83 Comments
1027 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
1022 Tumbling-hair/ picker of buttercups/ violets... (V) Comments and analysis of Tumbling-hair/ picker of buttercups/ violets... (V) by e.e. cummings 264 Comments
1017 i carry your heart with me Comments and analysis of i carry your heart with me by e.e. cummings 821 Comments
996 Picasso... (XXIII) Comments and analysis of Picasso... (XXIII) by e.e. cummings 9 Comments
978 Doveglion Comments and analysis of Doveglion by e.e. cummings 51 Comments
917 red-rag and pink-flag... (11) Comments and analysis of red-rag and pink-flag... (11) by e.e. cummings 6 Comments
914 up into the silence the green... (41) Comments and analysis of up into the silence the green... (41) by e.e. cummings 6 Comments
900 guilt is the cause of more disorders Comments and analysis of guilt is the cause of more disorders by e.e. cummings 6 Comments
868 but the other Comments and analysis of but the other by e.e. cummings 6 Comments
861 may i feel said he Comments and analysis of may i feel said he by e.e. cummings 161 Comments
850 listen... (III) Comments and analysis of listen... (III) by e.e. cummings 6 Comments
841 mrs... (15)
774 who sharpens every dull... (26) Comments and analysis of who sharpens every dull... (26) by e.e. cummings 2 Comments
771 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
754 dead every enourmous piece Comments and analysis of dead every enourmous piece by e.e. cummings 12 Comments
637 Where's Madge then, Comments and analysis of Where's Madge then, by e.e. cummings 2 Comments
625 warped this perhapsy... (9) Comments and analysis of warped this perhapsy... (9) by e.e. cummings 7 Comments
490 anyone lived in a pretty how town Comments and analysis of anyone lived in a pretty how town by e.e. cummings 878 Comments
399 l(a Comments and analysis of l(a by e.e. cummings 29 Comments
345 but mr can you maybe listen there's Comments and analysis of but mr can you maybe listen there's by e.e. cummings 255 Comments
273 i thank you God for most this amazing Comments and analysis of i thank you God for most this amazing by e.e. cummings 320 Comments
188 youful... (17) Comments and analysis of youful... (17) by e.e. cummings 39 Comments
152 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
152 buy me an ounce and i'll sell you a pound.
150 you being in love... (XII) Comments and analysis of you being in love... (XII) by e.e. cummings 268 Comments
126 who knows if the moon's... (VII) Comments and analysis of who knows if the moon's... (VII) by e.e. cummings 307 Comments


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