“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.”
Edward Estlin Cummings was born on this day in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA in 1894. Today is the 118th anniversary of his birth.
As a child Cummings enjoyed art and writing, as well as the outdoors. His mother encouraged him to write. And Cummings worked at his craft by writing daily. He went to Harvard where he became interested in non conventional poetry.
During World War I he was an ambulance driver in France and fell in love with Paris. But he sent letters home that “holding views critical of French war effort” [e.e. cummings Biography] He was arrested and thrown in prison for three months. His book The Enormous Room is based on his experiences in the French prison. He was later drafted into the US Army.
His first collection of poems, Tulips and Chimneys came out in 1923. Although his poems received critical praise — he won the Dial Award for poetry in 1925 — Cummings found it hard to find a publisher. His poetry was considered too avant guard.
His my father moved through dooms of love is a tribute to his recently deceased father…
34 my father moved through dooms of love through sames of am through haves of give, singing each morning out of each night my father moved through depths of height this motionless forgetful where turned at his glance to shining here; that if(so timid air is firm) under his eyes would stir and squirm newly as from unburied which floats the first who,his april touch drove sleeping selves to swarm their fates woke dreamers to their ghostly roots and should some why completely weep my father's fingers brought her sleep: vainly no smallest voice might cry for he could feel the mountains grow. Lifting the valleys of the sea my father moved through griefs of joy; praising a forehead called the moon singing desire into begin joy was his song and joy so pure a heart of star by him could steer and pure so now and now so yes the wrists of twilight would rejoice keen as midsummer's keen beyond conceiving mind of sun will stand, so strictly(over utmost him so hugely) stood my father's dream his flesh was flesh his blood was blood: no hungry man but wished him food; no cripple wouldn't creep one mile uphill to only see him smile. Scorning the Pomp of must and shall my father moved through dooms of feel; his anger was as right as rain his pity was as green as grain septembering arms of year extend yes humbly wealth to foe and friend than he to foolish and to wise offered immeasurable is proudly and(by octobering flame beckoned)as earth will downward climb, so naked for immortal work his shoulders marched against the darkhis sorrow was as true as bread: no liar looked him in the head; if every friend became his foe he'd laugh and build a world with snow.My father moved through theys of we, singing each new leaf out of each tree (and every child was sure that spring danced when she heard my father sing)then let men kill which cannot share, let blood and flesh be mud and mire, scheming imagine,passion willed, freedom a drug that's bought and soldgiving to steal and cruel kind, a heart to fear,to doubt a mind, to differ a disease of same, conform the pinnacle of amthough dull were all we taste as bright, bitter all utterly things sweet, maggoty minus and dumb death all we inherit,all bequeathand nothing quite so least as truth --i say though hate were why men breathe-- because my Father lived his soul love is the whole and more than all
Cummings died in 1962 from a stroke.
- E.E. Cummings (hilobrow.com)