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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
76480 maggie and milly and molly and may Comments and analysis of maggie and milly and molly and may by e.e. cummings 421 Comments
75216 i have found what you are like Comments and analysis of i have found what you are like by e.e. cummings 292 Comments
49842 all which isn't singing is mere talking Comments and analysis of all which isn't singing is mere talking by e.e. cummings 34 Comments
44662 you said Is (XIII) Comments and analysis of you said Is (XIII) by e.e. cummings 15 Comments
44503 Little Tree Comments and analysis of Little Tree by e.e. cummings 80 Comments
42796 Sometimes I Am Alive Because With Comments and analysis of Sometimes I Am Alive Because With by e.e. cummings 14 Comments
41481 nobody loses all the time (X) Comments and analysis of nobody loses all the time (X) by e.e. cummings 43 Comments
37700 in a middle of a room Comments and analysis of in a middle of a room by e.e. cummings 89 Comments
36024 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
35345 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 324 Comments
32755 silence... (40) Comments and analysis of silence... (40) by e.e. cummings 20 Comments
32044 i go to this window Comments and analysis of i go to this window by e.e. cummings 7 Comments
31982 once like a spark... (XXIV) Comments and analysis of once like a spark... (XXIV) by e.e. cummings 2 Comments
30073 nothing false and possible is love... (XXXIV) Comments and analysis of nothing false and possible is love... (XXXIV) by e.e. cummings 7 Comments
29836 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
29741 enter no Comments and analysis of enter no by e.e. cummings 9 Comments
28619 here's to opening and upward Comments and analysis of here's to opening and upward by e.e. cummings 9 Comments
26605 voices to voices,lip to lip... (XXXIII) Comments and analysis of voices to voices,lip to lip... (XXXIII) by e.e. cummings 30 Comments
26592 gee i like to think of dead Comments and analysis of gee i like to think of dead by e.e. cummings 289 Comments
25522 hate blows a bubble of despair into Comments and analysis of hate blows a bubble of despair into by e.e. cummings 54 Comments
25406 moan... (7) Comments and analysis of moan... (7) by e.e. cummings 9 Comments
24797 the Cambridge ladies who live in furnished souls Comments and analysis of the Cambridge ladies who live in furnished souls by e.e. cummings 147 Comments
24363 Fame Speaks Comments and analysis of Fame Speaks by e.e. cummings 17 Comments
23939 INTRODUCTION from New Poems Comments and analysis of INTRODUCTION from New Poems by e.e. cummings 239 Comments
20082 Skating (4) Comments and analysis of Skating (4) by e.e. cummings 11 Comments
19543 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 5 Comments
19418 a light Out) Comments and analysis of a light Out) by e.e. cummings 3 Comments
19212 if i have made,my lady,intricate Comments and analysis of if i have made,my lady,intricate by e.e. cummings 1 Comment
17911 FOREWARD, is 5 Comments and analysis of FOREWARD, is 5 by e.e. cummings 31 Comments
16161 fl... (2) Comments and analysis of fl... (2) by e.e. cummings 94 Comments
13722 spring omnipotent goddess Thou Comments and analysis of spring omnipotent goddess Thou by e.e. cummings 18 Comments
13572 kumrads die because they're told) Comments and analysis of kumrads die because they're told) by e.e. cummings 7 Comments
13451 spoke joe to jack... (10) Comments and analysis of spoke joe to jack... (10) by e.e. cummings 4 Comments
13422 yonder deadfromtheneckup graduate... (V) Comments and analysis of yonder deadfromtheneckup graduate... (V) by e.e. cummings 12 Comments
12108 this evangelist... (XXIX) Comments and analysis of this evangelist... (XXIX) by e.e. cummings 226 Comments
11775 why did you go... (IV) Comments and analysis of why did you go... (IV) by e.e. cummings 247 Comments
11729 suppose... (VIII) Comments and analysis of suppose... (VIII) by e.e. cummings 65 Comments
11279 ordinary wind is winding(cold face blush Comments and analysis of ordinary wind is winding(cold face blush by e.e. cummings 1 Comment
10379 speaking of love(of... (LV) Comments and analysis of speaking of love(of... (LV) by e.e. cummings 4 Comments
9590 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
8820 you shall above all things... (22) Comments and analysis of you shall above all things... (22) by e.e. cummings 37 Comments
8412 yes is a pleasant country... (XXXVIII) Comments and analysis of yes is a pleasant country... (XXXVIII) by e.e. cummings 10 Comments
8231 (and i imagine... (XII) Comments and analysis of (and i imagine... (XII) by e.e. cummings 237 Comments
7184 somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond Comments and analysis of somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond by e.e. cummings 306 Comments
6926 (Me up at does) Comments and analysis of (Me up at does) by e.e. cummings 185 Comments
6924 !blac... (1) Comments and analysis of !blac... (1) by e.e. cummings 707 Comments
5972 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
5946 proud of his scientific attitude... (13) Comments and analysis of proud of his scientific attitude... (13) by e.e. cummings 3 Comments
5762 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 105 Comments
5708 since feeling is first... (VII) Comments and analysis of since feeling is first... (VII) by e.e. cummings 450 Comments
5582 in time of daffodils Comments and analysis of in time of daffodils by e.e. cummings 75 Comments
5398 i sing of Olaf glad and big Comments and analysis of i sing of Olaf glad and big by e.e. cummings 323 Comments
5348 nobody loved this... (4) Comments and analysis of nobody loved this... (4) by e.e. cummings 11 Comments
5238 she being Brand... (XIX) Comments and analysis of she being Brand... (XIX) by e.e. cummings 103 Comments
5062 anyone lived in a pretty how town Comments and analysis of anyone lived in a pretty how town by e.e. cummings 953 Comments
5026 "Gay" is the captivating cognomen Comments and analysis of 336 Comments
4636 it is at moments after I have dreamed Comments and analysis of it is at moments after I have dreamed by e.e. cummings 91 Comments
4405 because i love you)last night Comments and analysis of because i love you)last night by e.e. cummings 8 Comments
4391 it may not always be so Comments and analysis of it may not always be so by e.e. cummings 117 Comments
4134 if there are any heavens my mother will Comments and analysis of if there are any heavens my mother will by e.e. cummings 52 Comments
4096 all ignorance toboggans into know Comments and analysis of all ignorance toboggans into know by e.e. cummings 280 Comments
4014 a total stranger one black day Comments and analysis of a total stranger one black day by e.e. cummings 18 Comments
4013 in Just- Comments and analysis of in Just- by e.e. cummings 836 Comments
4008 my love is building a building... (XII) Comments and analysis of my love is building a building... (XII) by e.e. cummings 11 Comments
4004 a pretty a day Comments and analysis of a pretty a day by e.e. cummings 10 Comments
3856 i thank you God for most this amazing Comments and analysis of i thank you God for most this amazing by e.e. cummings 374 Comments
3785 if you like my poems let them Comments and analysis of if you like my poems let them by e.e. cummings 127 Comments
3732 may i feel said he Comments and analysis of may i feel said he by e.e. cummings 194 Comments
3578 l(a Comments and analysis of l(a by e.e. cummings 40 Comments
3395 Poem, Or Beauty Hurts Mr. Vinal Comments and analysis of Poem, Or Beauty Hurts Mr. Vinal by e.e. cummings 282 Comments
3379 here is little Effie's head Comments and analysis of here is little Effie's head by e.e. cummings 42 Comments
3352 love is a place... (58) Comments and analysis of love is a place... (58) by e.e. cummings 50 Comments
3344 mr youse needn't be so spry... (XVIII) Comments and analysis of mr youse needn't be so spry... (XVIII) by e.e. cummings 73 Comments
3192 into the strenuous briefness Comments and analysis of into the strenuous briefness by e.e. cummings 209 Comments
3192 into the strenuous briefness
3127 )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
3083 who knows if the moon's... (VII) Comments and analysis of who knows if the moon's... (VII) by e.e. cummings 337 Comments
2949 the boys i mean are not refined Comments and analysis of the boys i mean are not refined by e.e. cummings 333 Comments
2873 guilt is the cause of more disorders Comments and analysis of guilt is the cause of more disorders by e.e. cummings 7 Comments
2845 Doveglion Comments and analysis of Doveglion by e.e. cummings 57 Comments
2642 but mr can you maybe listen there's Comments and analysis of but mr can you maybe listen there's by e.e. cummings 284 Comments
2506 up into the silence the green... (41) Comments and analysis of up into the silence the green... (41) by e.e. cummings 7 Comments
2382 listen... (III) Comments and analysis of listen... (III) by e.e. cummings 15 Comments
2361 now what were motionless move(exists no... (89) Comments and analysis of now what were motionless move(exists no... (89) by e.e. cummings 30 Comments
2311 i am a little church Comments and analysis of i am a little church by e.e. cummings 288 Comments
2304 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 399 Comments
2197 who sharpens every dull... (26) Comments and analysis of who sharpens every dull... (26) by e.e. cummings 2 Comments
2178 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
2178 buy me an ounce and i'll sell you a pound.
2053 Snow Comments and analysis of Snow by e.e. cummings 121 Comments
1967 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 273 Comments
1902 Where's Madge then, Comments and analysis of Where's Madge then, by e.e. cummings 2 Comments
1879 warped this perhapsy... (9) Comments and analysis of warped this perhapsy... (9) by e.e. cummings 9 Comments
1855 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 35 Comments
1832 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
1819 am was. Comments and analysis of am was. by e.e. cummings 71 Comments
1765 youful... (17) Comments and analysis of youful... (17) by e.e. cummings 43 Comments
1653 Of Nicolette Comments and analysis of Of Nicolette by e.e. cummings 3 Comments
1614 i am so glad and very Comments and analysis of i am so glad and very by e.e. cummings 288 Comments
1588 now does our world descend... Comments and analysis of now does our world descend... by e.e. cummings 30 Comments
1559 my mind is... (XXV) Comments and analysis of my mind is... (XXV) by e.e. cummings 34 Comments
1543 Spring is like a perhaps hand Comments and analysis of Spring is like a perhaps hand by e.e. cummings 68 Comments
1438 flotsam and jetsam Comments and analysis of flotsam and jetsam by e.e. cummings 2 Comments
1326 All in green went my love riding Comments and analysis of All in green went my love riding by e.e. cummings 62 Comments
1314 as freedom is a breakfastfood Comments and analysis of as freedom is a breakfastfood by e.e. cummings 43 Comments
1293 Picasso... (XXIII) Comments and analysis of Picasso... (XXIII) by e.e. cummings 12 Comments
1224 there is a here and... (19)
1202 2 little whos Comments and analysis of 2 little whos by e.e. cummings 545 Comments
1200 when life is quite through with... (II) Comments and analysis of when life is quite through with... (II) by e.e. cummings 4 Comments
1176 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 55 Comments
1163 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
1162 I Am A Beggar Always Comments and analysis of I Am A Beggar Always by e.e. cummings 282 Comments
1162 my father moved through dooms of love Comments and analysis of my father moved through dooms of love by e.e. cummings 97 Comments
1160 pity this busy monster,manunkind... (XIV) Comments and analysis of pity this busy monster,manunkind... (XIV) by e.e. cummings 88 Comments
1112 i carry your heart with me Comments and analysis of i carry your heart with me by e.e. cummings 855 Comments
1016 this(let's remember)day died again and...
980 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 18 Comments
977 lily has a rose Comments and analysis of lily has a rose by e.e. cummings 6 Comments
946 Epithalamion Comments and analysis of Epithalamion by e.e. cummings 7 Comments
927 ecco a letter starting"dearest we" Comments and analysis of ecco a letter starting 2 Comments
910 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
854 dying is fine)but Death Comments and analysis of dying is fine)but Death by e.e. cummings 145 Comments
780 six... (21) Comments and analysis of six... (21) by e.e. cummings 2 Comments
743 1(a... (a leaf falls on loneliness) Comments and analysis of 1(a... (a leaf falls on loneliness) by e.e. cummings 286 Comments
722 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 96 Comments
624 Humanity i love you Comments and analysis of Humanity i love you by e.e. cummings 589 Comments
607 Marianne Moore (35) Comments and analysis of Marianne Moore (35) by e.e. cummings 1 Comment
592 O sweet spontaneous Comments and analysis of O sweet spontaneous by e.e. cummings 5 Comments
583 i shall imagine life Comments and analysis of i shall imagine life by e.e. cummings 35 Comments
562 your little voice... (I) Comments and analysis of your little voice... (I) by e.e. cummings 73 Comments
550 when god lets my body be Comments and analysis of when god lets my body be by e.e. cummings 86 Comments
540 between the breasts Comments and analysis of between the breasts by e.e. cummings 11 Comments
533 if everything happens that can't be done Comments and analysis of if everything happens that can't be done by e.e. cummings 311 Comments
521 n(o)w... Comments and analysis of n(o)w... by e.e. cummings 29 Comments
492 red-rag and pink-flag... (11) Comments and analysis of red-rag and pink-flag... (11) by e.e. cummings 7 Comments
459 supposing i dreamed this)... (IX) Comments and analysis of supposing i dreamed this)... (IX) by e.e. cummings 27 Comments
450 next to of course god america i... (III) Comments and analysis of next to of course god america i... (III) by e.e. cummings 389 Comments
335 Seeker Of Truth Comments and analysis of Seeker Of Truth by e.e. cummings 38 Comments
317 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
313 mrs... (15)
292 in spite of everything Comments and analysis of in spite of everything by e.e. cummings 271 Comments
260 there are so many tictoc... Comments and analysis of there are so many tictoc... by e.e. cummings 15 Comments
211 Tumbling-hair/ picker of buttercups/ violets... (V) Comments and analysis of Tumbling-hair/ picker of buttercups/ violets... (V) by e.e. cummings 273 Comments
198 my sweet old etcetera... (X) Comments and analysis of my sweet old etcetera... (X) by e.e. cummings 50 Comments
185 dead every enourmous piece Comments and analysis of dead every enourmous piece by e.e. cummings 27 Comments
114 Jehovah buried,Satan dead, Comments and analysis of Jehovah buried,Satan dead, by e.e. cummings 344 Comments
98 a man who had fallen among thieves Comments and analysis of a man who had fallen among thieves by e.e. cummings 127 Comments
94 (will you teach a... (12) Comments and analysis of (will you teach a... (12) by e.e. cummings 80 Comments
87 because it's Comments and analysis of because it's by e.e. cummings 18 Comments
86 Thy fingers make early flowers of... (IV) Comments and analysis of Thy fingers make early flowers of... (IV) by e.e. cummings 110 Comments
84 Now i lay(with everywhere around)... (44) Comments and analysis of Now i lay(with everywhere around)... (44) by e.e. cummings 9 Comments
77 Buffalo Bill's Comments and analysis of Buffalo Bill's by e.e. cummings 443 Comments
74 now is a ship... (9) Comments and analysis of now is a ship... (9) by e.e. cummings 265 Comments
25 but the other Comments and analysis of but the other by e.e. cummings 12 Comments
20 you being in love... (XII) Comments and analysis of you being in love... (XII) by e.e. cummings 284 Comments


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