E. E. Cummings

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Edward Estlin Cummings or e. e. cummings (1894-1962) was an American author and poet known for refusing to use capital letters. His works include: The Enormous Room (1922), & (1925), is 5 (1926), 50 Poems (1940), I × I (1944), 95 Poems (1958), and Poems 1923-1954 (1955).[1] He is considered one of the great poets of his era, along with T.S. Eliot, Aiken, Auden, and Crane.

In 1931 he traveled to the communist Soviet Union hoping to like it, but instead sharply criticized the dictatorship.[2]

Life and Works

Cummings was born October 14, 1894, in Cambridge, Massachusetts.[3] He had enjoyed writing poetry since he was a child and wrote a poem every day, until his attending Harvard University.[4] There at Harvard, he was the first poet to use a typewriter to space his letters strangely to form distinct shapes with the letters and words.[5]

His liberal[6] parents, and his spending time in a French detention camp, encouraged his writing The Enormous Room against authoritarian government.[7] After the World War I detainment, he lived in New Hampshire and traveled much of Europe, meeting people like surrealist painter Pablo Picasso.[8] He married Elaine Orr, and while they were married, wrote Tulips and Chimneys (1923), &, XLI Poems (1925), and Is 5, though in 1926 he divorced and his parents were killed in a car-train accident.[9] After World War Two, his sexual love poems were celebrated by the new generation of rebellious writers, and he was asked to speak at Harvard.[10] He died on September 3, 1962, in New Hampshire.[11]


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