e. e. cummings


 
Portrait by Doug Wipf
 
      Cummings was born on October 14, 1894, and grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  He developed a strong interest in poetry and art at an early age.  After completing studies in English and the classics at Harvard University, Cummings moved to New York where he stayed until World War I.  During the war he volunteered as an ambulance driver in france.  There he saw the suffering of war.  Due to a misunderstanding, Cummings was held in a military detention for three months.  He had been falsely accused of treason.  Cummings  wrote THE ENORMOUS ROOM (1922) based on his experiences there.  Throughout the rest of his life, Cummings lived alternately between Paris and New York.  He continued to write his poetry and to give readings until his death on September 3, 1962. 
 
   
    Cummings's style is quite unique and often misunderstood.  One of the first things a reader might notice of his poetry is the pronoun "i" used in the lower case.  This shows humility, and is an effective way of reminding the reader that the self is not always as important as it seems.  Cummings uses "incorrect" syntax in unusual ways to help illustrate the meanings of his poems.  Capitalization, when used, is important in Cummings' poetry because he used it to emphasize words or phrases  such as "Humanity i love you." 
 
 
 
Analysis of poems: 
 
 

 
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