Friday, June 25, 2010

Poetry 101: e e cummings

Who is the one man who can defy grammar rules and still be loved and praised by English teachers? The poet e e cummings (10/18/1894 to 09/3/1962). He's also a man surrounded by much debate over how exactly his name is to be spelled. Well folks, E. E. Cummings, e. e. cummings, or e e cummings is said to be acceptable. Cummings himself used both the capitalized and lowercase versions.

  • With all the different ways to abbreviate his name, many don't know his real name: Edward Estlin Cummings. Without the middle name, it sounds like Edward Cullen. o.O
  • His mother introduced him to the joy that is writing. GO MOM!
  • He was a Harvard man! While there, many of his poems were published in the Harvard Monthly.
  • Cummings was an ambulance driver in France before and during the United States entered World War I. While working, he was arrested for suspicion of espionage and spent three months in a French prison camp. He wrote of his experiences there in The Enormous Room.
  • He was a transcendentalist, which means he incorporated nature, the importance of individual expression, and spirituality into his poems.
  • He is famous for manipulating grammar and placing more focus on the meaning of his poems than on the grammatical accuracy of his poems.
  • Not only was he a poet, but Cummings was also a painter, essayist, playwright, and author.
  • He was married briefly twice and fathered one child, Nancy.
  • Quote: "Life's not a paragraph And death i think is no parenthesis"
  • Quote: "Listen, there's a hell of a good universe next door: let's go."
  • Quote: "The world is mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful."

"i carry your hear with me" by e e cummings

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

He is a great and quirky poet. Hopefully, your interest in Cummings has renewed or if this is the first time you hear of him, you'll want to read more of his poems!

Written by Scarlett.


  1. Hi, can I just say I fell head over heels for this blog? Everything about it is great. I love your banner, and all your content! It's fantastic! I will definitely be coming back for more!!

  2. ^ That comment makes me happy :D

    Yeah haha, I never knew which version of his name was really correct, but I guess all of them are! That's interesting, haha! And is it really sad that I kind of thought of Edward Cullen when reading his name too? :P Ergh, Twilight...

  3. It is odd, I never thought he'd look like that. I'm not sure how I imagined him. Yet not Edward C. reading his stuff, either. I do like the interesting aspects of transcendentalism. I think I look at his work differently now than I did the first time I read it. Now when I read his stuff, Sufjan Stevens comes to mind.

  4. I love that poem. So much. Haha, it's on my blog, so obviously...