This was an assignment to write about one poet of your choice. I chose to write about the poet E.E. Cummings.
E.E. Cummings (Edward Estlin Cummings) was born on October 14th, 1894. His parents were Edward and Rebecca Cummings.
In high school E.E. Cummings wrote poetry for the school newspaper. From 1911-1916 he attended Harvard University. During his time at Harvard he received the Bachelor of Arts degree in 1915 and a Masters degree for English and Classical studies.
In 1920 E.E. Cummings published his first poems in a collection of poetry called Eight Harvard Poets.
The main form of poetry that E.E. Cummings wrote were poems called sonnets. Sonnets are 14 line poems that follow a particular rhyme. E.E. Cummings also wrote some Free Verse poems. The main themes of the poetry that E.E. Cummings wrote about were Love and Nature.
Many of his poems have a different style than most poetry with words, parts of words, and different kinds of punctuation spread across the page; these poems often did not make sense until someone read them aloud.
E.E. Cummings published his very first poetry book called Tulips and Chimneys in 1923. The other books that he published were:
• The enormous room (1922) this was a novel not a book of poetry.
• Tulips and Chimneys (1923)
• XLI poems (1925)
• Is 5 (1926)
• HIM (1927) this was a play not a book of poetry
• ViVa (1931)
• Eimi (1933)
• No Thanks (1935)
• 50 poems (1940)
• 1 x 1 (1944)
• XAIPE: 71 poems (1950)
• Poems 1923-1954 (1954)
• 95 poems (1958)
• Collected poems (1960)
• 73 poems (1963) After Death
• Fairy Tales (1965) After Death
On September 3rd, 1962, E.E. Cummings died of a stroke in North Conway, New Hampshire.
During the time in which he was alive he received the following awards, plus many more:
• Dial Award (1925)
• Guggenheim Fellowship (1933)
• Shelley Memorial Award for Poetry (1944)
• Harriet Monroe Prize from Poetry magazine (1950)
• Fellowship of American Academy of Poets (1950)
• Guggenheim Fellowship (1951)
• Charles Eliot Norton Professorship at Harvard (1952–1953)
• Special citation from the National Book Award Committee for his Poems, 1923-1954 (1957)
• Bollingen Prize in Poetry (1958)
• Boston Arts Festival Award (1957)
• Two-year Ford Foundation grant of $15,000 (1959)
The reason that I chose E.E. Cummings was because he had his own style of writing. By own style of writing I mean that he invented a totally new style of writing. He would set up his words so that it looked like nothing would make sense on paper, but when read his poems would make sense. He made up his own kind of writing from looking at other poets’ writing and combining it with his own. I think that he is a very interesting person. One more interesting thing about E.E. Cummings was that sometimes he wrote his name in lower case rather than in upper case (Capital letters). You might think that this may not be that important, oh wow he wrote his name in lower case once. That is not true he used it all the time, his publishers used it, people that wrote about him wrote his name with lower case! It was even said that he had legally changed his name to e.e. cummings. In the end this rumours ended up not being true.
Here is one of his poems:
anyone lived in a pretty how town
(with up so floating many bells down)
spring summer autumn winter
he sang his didn't he danced his did.
Women and men (both little and small)
cared for anyone not at all
they sowed their isn't they reaped their same
sun moon stars rain
children guessed (but only a few
and down they forgot as up they grew
autumn winter spring summer)
that noone loved him more by more
when by now and tree by leaf
she laughed his joy she cried his grief
bird by snow and stir by still
anyone's any was all to her
someones married their everyones
laughed their cryings and did their dance
(sleep wake hope and then)they
said their nevers they slept their dream
stars rain sun moon
(and only the snow can begin to explain
how children are apt to forget to remember
with up so floating many bells down)
one day anyone died i guess
(and noone stooped to kiss his face)
busy folk buried them side by side
little by little and was by was
all by all and deep by deep
and more by more they dream their sleep
noone and anyone earth by april
with by spirit and if by yes.
Women and men (both dong and ding)
summer autumn winter spring
reaped their sowing and went their came
sun moon stars rain
a picture of E.E. Cummings.