Category Archives: e. e. cummings

e.e. cummings memorial Thought of the Day

“To be nobody but yourself in a world that’s doing its best to make you somebody else, is to fight the hardest battle you are ever going to fight. Never stop fighting.” — e.e. cummings

English: Grave of poet E. E. Cummings, located...

English: Grave of poet E. E. Cummings, located at Forest Hills Cemetery in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today is the anniversary of the death of poet e.e. cummings. He died 51 years ago. To read his full ritaLOVEStoWRITE bioBLOG click HERE.

Cummings had a magical way of playing with words so they transcended form and meaning.

Cummings experimented radically with form, punctuation, spelling and syntax, abandoning traditional techniques and structures to create a new, highly idiosyncratic means of poetic expression. [Poets.org]
Here’s his poem ‘my love’.

my love
thy hair is one kingdom
the king whereof is darkness
thy forehead is a flight of flowers

thy head is a quick forest
filled with sleeping birds
thy breasts are swarms of white bees
upon the bough of thy body
thy body to me is April
in whose armpits is the approach of spring

thy thighs are white horses yoked to a chariot
of kings
they are the striking of a good minstrel
between them is always a pleasant song

my love
thy head is a casket
of the cool jewel of thy mind
the hair of thy head is one warrior
innocent of defeat
thy hair upon thy shoulders is an army
with victory and with trumpets

thy legs are the trees of dreaming
whose fruit is the very eatage of forgetfulness

thy lips are satraps in scarlet
in whose kiss is the combinings of kings
thy wrists
are holy
which are the keepers of the keys of thy blood
thy feet upon thy ankles are flowers in vases
of silver

in thy beauty is the dilemma of flutes

thy eyes are the betrayal
of bells comprehended through incense

E.E. Cummings, full-length portrait, facing le...

E.E. Cummings, full-length portrait, facing left, wearing hat and coat / World-Telegram photo by Walter Albertin. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here’s a list of selected poetry and prose by cummings: [List from Poets.org]

Poetry

  • Tulips and Chimneys (1923)
  • & (1925) XLI Poems (1925)
  • ViVa (1931) No Thanks (1935)
  • Tom (1935) 1/20 (1936)
  • Fifty Poems (1941)
  • 1 x 1 (1944)
  • Xaipe: Seventy-One Poems (1950)
  • Ninety-five Poems (1958)
  • 73 Poems (1962)
  • Complete Poems (1991)

Prose

  • The Enormous Room (1922)
  • Eimi (1933)

Thought of the Day 10.14.12 e.e.cummings

“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.”
–e.e. cummings

E. E. Cummings, 1958 by Edward Estlin Cummings...

E. E. Cummings, 1958 by Edward Estlin Cummings, Oil on canvas (Photo credit: cliff1066™)

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.

First edition dustjacket of The Enormous Room

First edition dustjacket of The Enormous Room (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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.

1st edition cover

1st edition cover (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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…

my father moved through dooms of love

by E. E. Cummings

              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, full-length portrait, facing le...

E.E. Cummings, full-length portrait, facing left, wearing hat and coat / World-Telegram photo by Walter Albertin. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


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