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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
76169 maggie and milly and molly and may Comments and analysis of maggie and milly and molly and may by e.e. cummings 421 Comments
74817 i have found what you are like Comments and analysis of i have found what you are like by e.e. cummings 292 Comments
49398 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
44448 you said Is (XIII) Comments and analysis of you said Is (XIII) by e.e. cummings 15 Comments
44197 Little Tree Comments and analysis of Little Tree by e.e. cummings 80 Comments
42820 (will you teach a... (12) Comments and analysis of (will you teach a... (12) by e.e. cummings 79 Comments
42540 Sometimes I Am Alive Because With Comments and analysis of Sometimes I Am Alive Because With by e.e. cummings 14 Comments
41168 nobody loses all the time (X) Comments and analysis of nobody loses all the time (X) by e.e. cummings 43 Comments
37407 in a middle of a room Comments and analysis of in a middle of a room by e.e. cummings 88 Comments
35730 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
35087 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 323 Comments
32569 silence... (40) Comments and analysis of silence... (40) by e.e. cummings 20 Comments
31892 i go to this window Comments and analysis of i go to this window by e.e. cummings 7 Comments
31724 once like a spark... (XXIV) Comments and analysis of once like a spark... (XXIV) by e.e. cummings 2 Comments
29901 nothing false and possible is love... (XXXIV) Comments and analysis of nothing false and possible is love... (XXXIV) by e.e. cummings 7 Comments
29700 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
29442 enter no Comments and analysis of enter no by e.e. cummings 9 Comments
28417 here's to opening and upward Comments and analysis of here's to opening and upward by e.e. cummings 9 Comments
26428 gee i like to think of dead Comments and analysis of gee i like to think of dead by e.e. cummings 289 Comments
26313 voices to voices,lip to lip... (XXXIII) Comments and analysis of voices to voices,lip to lip... (XXXIII) by e.e. cummings 29 Comments
26240 Jehovah buried,Satan dead, Comments and analysis of Jehovah buried,Satan dead, by e.e. cummings 342 Comments
25347 hate blows a bubble of despair into Comments and analysis of hate blows a bubble of despair into by e.e. cummings 54 Comments
25251 moan... (7) Comments and analysis of moan... (7) by e.e. cummings 9 Comments
24647 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
24193 Fame Speaks Comments and analysis of Fame Speaks by e.e. cummings 17 Comments
23733 INTRODUCTION from New Poems Comments and analysis of INTRODUCTION from New Poems by e.e. cummings 239 Comments
22241 now is a ship... (9) Comments and analysis of now is a ship... (9) by e.e. cummings 265 Comments
19921 Skating (4) Comments and analysis of Skating (4) by e.e. cummings 11 Comments
19396 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
19279 a light Out) Comments and analysis of a light Out) by e.e. cummings 3 Comments
19010 if i have made,my lady,intricate Comments and analysis of if i have made,my lady,intricate by e.e. cummings 1 Comment
17717 FOREWARD, is 5 Comments and analysis of FOREWARD, is 5 by e.e. cummings 31 Comments
15982 fl... (2) Comments and analysis of fl... (2) by e.e. cummings 94 Comments
13597 spring omnipotent goddess Thou Comments and analysis of spring omnipotent goddess Thou by e.e. cummings 18 Comments
13405 kumrads die because they're told) Comments and analysis of kumrads die because they're told) by e.e. cummings 7 Comments
13292 spoke joe to jack... (10) Comments and analysis of spoke joe to jack... (10) by e.e. cummings 4 Comments
13274 yonder deadfromtheneckup graduate... (V) Comments and analysis of yonder deadfromtheneckup graduate... (V) by e.e. cummings 12 Comments
11951 this evangelist... (XXIX) Comments and analysis of this evangelist... (XXIX) by e.e. cummings 226 Comments
11627 why did you go... (IV) Comments and analysis of why did you go... (IV) by e.e. cummings 247 Comments
11575 suppose... (VIII) Comments and analysis of suppose... (VIII) by e.e. cummings 65 Comments
11134 ordinary wind is winding(cold face blush Comments and analysis of ordinary wind is winding(cold face blush by e.e. cummings 1 Comment
10260 speaking of love(of... (LV) Comments and analysis of speaking of love(of... (LV) by e.e. cummings 4 Comments
9434 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
8718 you shall above all things... (22) Comments and analysis of you shall above all things... (22) by e.e. cummings 37 Comments
8284 yes is a pleasant country... (XXXVIII) Comments and analysis of yes is a pleasant country... (XXXVIII) by e.e. cummings 10 Comments
8147 (and i imagine... (XII) Comments and analysis of (and i imagine... (XII) by e.e. cummings 237 Comments
6876 !blac... (1) Comments and analysis of !blac... (1) by e.e. cummings 707 Comments
6773 somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond Comments and analysis of somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond by e.e. cummings 306 Comments
6543 (Me up at does) Comments and analysis of (Me up at does) by e.e. cummings 183 Comments
5838 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
5798 proud of his scientific attitude... (13) Comments and analysis of proud of his scientific attitude... (13) by e.e. cummings 3 Comments
5514 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
5337 in time of daffodils Comments and analysis of in time of daffodils by e.e. cummings 74 Comments
5217 since feeling is first... (VII) Comments and analysis of since feeling is first... (VII) by e.e. cummings 450 Comments
5103 i sing of Olaf glad and big Comments and analysis of i sing of Olaf glad and big by e.e. cummings 322 Comments
5096 nobody loved this... (4) Comments and analysis of nobody loved this... (4) by e.e. cummings 11 Comments
4941 she being Brand... (XIX) Comments and analysis of she being Brand... (XIX) by e.e. cummings 103 Comments
4775 anyone lived in a pretty how town Comments and analysis of anyone lived in a pretty how town by e.e. cummings 953 Comments
4767 "Gay" is the captivating cognomen Comments and analysis of 333 Comments
4245 it is at moments after I have dreamed Comments and analysis of it is at moments after I have dreamed by e.e. cummings 90 Comments
4223 a man who had fallen among thieves Comments and analysis of a man who had fallen among thieves by e.e. cummings 127 Comments
4195 it may not always be so Comments and analysis of it may not always be so by e.e. cummings 117 Comments
4182 because i love you)last night Comments and analysis of because i love you)last night by e.e. cummings 8 Comments
3946 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
3890 all ignorance toboggans into know Comments and analysis of all ignorance toboggans into know by e.e. cummings 280 Comments
3818 a pretty a day Comments and analysis of a pretty a day by e.e. cummings 10 Comments
3728 a total stranger one black day Comments and analysis of a total stranger one black day by e.e. cummings 18 Comments
3725 my love is building a building... (XII) Comments and analysis of my love is building a building... (XII) by e.e. cummings 11 Comments
3659 in Just- Comments and analysis of in Just- by e.e. cummings 835 Comments
3612 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
3610 if you like my poems let them Comments and analysis of if you like my poems let them by e.e. cummings 127 Comments
3452 may i feel said he Comments and analysis of may i feel said he by e.e. cummings 194 Comments
3293 l(a Comments and analysis of l(a by e.e. cummings 40 Comments
3194 here is little Effie's head Comments and analysis of here is little Effie's head by e.e. cummings 41 Comments
3175 love is a place... (58) Comments and analysis of love is a place... (58) by e.e. cummings 41 Comments
3150 Poem, Or Beauty Hurts Mr. Vinal Comments and analysis of Poem, Or Beauty Hurts Mr. Vinal by e.e. cummings 282 Comments
3134 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
3016 into the strenuous briefness Comments and analysis of into the strenuous briefness by e.e. cummings 206 Comments
3016 into the strenuous briefness
2901 )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
2851 who knows if the moon's... (VII) Comments and analysis of who knows if the moon's... (VII) by e.e. cummings 337 Comments
2746 the boys i mean are not refined Comments and analysis of the boys i mean are not refined by e.e. cummings 333 Comments
2692 guilt is the cause of more disorders Comments and analysis of guilt is the cause of more disorders by e.e. cummings 7 Comments
2671 Doveglion Comments and analysis of Doveglion by e.e. cummings 57 Comments
2611 but the other Comments and analysis of but the other by e.e. cummings 12 Comments
2399 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
2363 up into the silence the green... (41) Comments and analysis of up into the silence the green... (41) by e.e. cummings 7 Comments
2258 listen... (III) Comments and analysis of listen... (III) by e.e. cummings 15 Comments
2225 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
2201 you being in love... (XII) Comments and analysis of you being in love... (XII) by e.e. cummings 284 Comments
2090 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
2073 i am a little church Comments and analysis of i am a little church by e.e. cummings 288 Comments
2059 who sharpens every dull... (26) Comments and analysis of who sharpens every dull... (26) by e.e. cummings 2 Comments
2005 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
2005 buy me an ounce and i'll sell you a pound.
1904 Snow Comments and analysis of Snow by e.e. cummings 121 Comments
1848 Buffalo Bill's Comments and analysis of Buffalo Bill's by e.e. cummings 441 Comments
1784 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 272 Comments
1782 Where's Madge then, Comments and analysis of Where's Madge then, by e.e. cummings 2 Comments
1741 warped this perhapsy... (9) Comments and analysis of warped this perhapsy... (9) by e.e. cummings 9 Comments
1666 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
1633 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
1619 youful... (17) Comments and analysis of youful... (17) by e.e. cummings 43 Comments
1600 am was. Comments and analysis of am was. by e.e. cummings 71 Comments
1427 i am so glad and very Comments and analysis of i am so glad and very by e.e. cummings 288 Comments
1422 my mind is... (XXV) Comments and analysis of my mind is... (XXV) by e.e. cummings 34 Comments
1391 Spring is like a perhaps hand Comments and analysis of Spring is like a perhaps hand by e.e. cummings 68 Comments
1314 now does our world descend... Comments and analysis of now does our world descend... by e.e. cummings 29 Comments
1257 flotsam and jetsam Comments and analysis of flotsam and jetsam by e.e. cummings 2 Comments
1193 Of Nicolette Comments and analysis of Of Nicolette by e.e. cummings 3 Comments
1182 Picasso... (XXIII) Comments and analysis of Picasso... (XXIII) by e.e. cummings 11 Comments
1147 Now i lay(with everywhere around)... (44) Comments and analysis of Now i lay(with everywhere around)... (44) by e.e. cummings 9 Comments
1089 there is a here and... (19)
1057 when life is quite through with... (II) Comments and analysis of when life is quite through with... (II) by e.e. cummings 4 Comments
1027 as freedom is a breakfastfood Comments and analysis of as freedom is a breakfastfood by e.e. cummings 43 Comments
1016 I Am A Beggar Always Comments and analysis of I Am A Beggar Always by e.e. cummings 282 Comments
999 2 little whos Comments and analysis of 2 little whos by e.e. cummings 545 Comments
994 my father moved through dooms of love Comments and analysis of my father moved through dooms of love by e.e. cummings 97 Comments
981 All in green went my love riding Comments and analysis of All in green went my love riding by e.e. cummings 62 Comments
947 pity this busy monster,manunkind... (XIV) Comments and analysis of pity this busy monster,manunkind... (XIV) by e.e. cummings 87 Comments
930 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
903 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
887 this(let's remember)day died again and...
810 lily has a rose Comments and analysis of lily has a rose by e.e. cummings 6 Comments
802 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
742 ecco a letter starting"dearest we" Comments and analysis of ecco a letter starting 2 Comments
701 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
663 six... (21) Comments and analysis of six... (21) by e.e. cummings 2 Comments
515 Epithalamion Comments and analysis of Epithalamion by e.e. cummings 7 Comments
507 dying is fine)but Death Comments and analysis of dying is fine)but Death by e.e. cummings 144 Comments
498 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
428 O sweet spontaneous Comments and analysis of O sweet spontaneous by e.e. cummings 5 Comments
423 i shall imagine life Comments and analysis of i shall imagine life by e.e. cummings 29 Comments
377 Thy fingers make early flowers of... (IV) Comments and analysis of Thy fingers make early flowers of... (IV) by e.e. cummings 109 Comments
371 n(o)w... Comments and analysis of n(o)w... by e.e. cummings 29 Comments
351 your little voice... (I) Comments and analysis of your little voice... (I) by e.e. cummings 73 Comments
338 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
337 between the breasts Comments and analysis of between the breasts by e.e. cummings 11 Comments
332 when god lets my body be Comments and analysis of when god lets my body be by e.e. cummings 86 Comments
318 Humanity i love you Comments and analysis of Humanity i love you by e.e. cummings 589 Comments
310 red-rag and pink-flag... (11) Comments and analysis of red-rag and pink-flag... (11) by e.e. cummings 7 Comments
275 Marianne Moore (35) Comments and analysis of Marianne Moore (35) by e.e. cummings 1 Comment
262 because it's Comments and analysis of because it's by e.e. cummings 18 Comments
259 supposing i dreamed this)... (IX) Comments and analysis of supposing i dreamed this)... (IX) by e.e. cummings 26 Comments
192 mrs... (15)
175 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
168 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
164 in spite of everything Comments and analysis of in spite of everything by e.e. cummings 271 Comments
135 Seeker Of Truth Comments and analysis of Seeker Of Truth by e.e. cummings 38 Comments
118 there are so many tictoc... Comments and analysis of there are so many tictoc... by e.e. cummings 15 Comments
110 i carry your heart with me Comments and analysis of i carry your heart with me by e.e. cummings 855 Comments
108 1(a... (a leaf falls on loneliness) Comments and analysis of 1(a... (a leaf falls on loneliness) by e.e. cummings 286 Comments
59 Tumbling-hair/ picker of buttercups/ violets... (V) Comments and analysis of Tumbling-hair/ picker of buttercups/ violets... (V) by e.e. cummings 273 Comments
36 dead every enourmous piece Comments and analysis of dead every enourmous piece by e.e. cummings 27 Comments
14 my sweet old etcetera... (X) Comments and analysis of my sweet old etcetera... (X) by e.e. cummings 50 Comments


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