Thursday, April 5, 2012

e.e. cummings

Today I want to write about e.e. cummings.  I've found that I've spent most of the time I put aside for writing just rereading his poetry.  Writing about poetry (or a poet) is hard, especially when it's poetry that really moves you.  Poems can be dissected, analyzed, probed for content and meaning.  That's difficult, but straightforward work.  To discuss what poetry means to you, what is does to you, that's something entirely different.

It seems that those who know of E.E. (Edward Estlin) Cummings either love him, hate him, or just don't get it.  Many people are bothered by his creative use, or lack thereof, of syntax and punctuation. I'll be honest, some of his concrete poetry is just too much for me.  All my effort goes into figuring out what words he is spelling, with no energy left over to think about why or what he means.  Those poems are fewer than at first seem.  Most of his verse speaks of innocence and optimism.   He embraced nature and love and sex and beauty and all aspects of life, even death.  He seems to have loved the world and humanity, even when he is pointing out its darker, petty sides. 

It is impossible for me to share my favorite poems of his.  There are just too many.  Many of his poems are known by their first line, so here is just a small sampling.  I've linked to various sites where you can read them.

and my list wouldn't be complete without

If you would only check out one, please read the last one.  

"and kisses are a better fate
than wisdom"


  1. Depends on whose kisses and what wisdom, I think.

    e.e. cummings's poetry is superb.


  2. Ooo. I will. I am a fan of e.e. cummings. I like his courage to do it his own way.

    Play off the Page

  3. I love his work, I really love poetry :) I will be writing about poetry for my L-post. Thank you for sharing these poems and for teaching me about him! I'm following your lovely blog :)

    Have a great weekend!

    Nikki – inspire nordic

  4. I read that last one. Really nice. I haven't read a lot of e.e. Cummings' poetry. Thanks for sharing! :)

  5. Lovely choice for E. I never get tired of cummings' poetry.