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ee cummings

ee cummings

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ee cummings

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  1. eecummings Our Prayer Poet!

  2. Background • Grew up in Massachusetts and went to Harvard • Developed his individual side early • Imprisoned in a French detention camp • Went to Paris to study art • Difficult love life reflected in changing tone of poems • Had affair with mentor’s wife: child, marriage, divorce • Married again: angry divorce • Third marriage: happiness again

  3. Poems • Cummings experimented radically with form, punctuation, spelling and syntax, abandoning traditional techniques and structures to create a new, highly idiosyncratic means of poetic expression. • Changed the usage of words and even their meaning • Played with capitalization, spacing and placement

  4. l(a le af fa ll s) one l iness l(a leaf falls)oneliness

  5. you from the pawn shop and because you are continually committing    nuisances but more    especially in your own house    Humanity i love you because you    are perpetually putting the secret of    life in your pants and forgetting    it's there and sitting down    on it    and because you are    forever making poems in the lap    of death Humanity i hate you Humanity i love you    because you would rather black the boots of    success than enquire whose soul dangles from his    watch-chain which would be embarrassing for both      parties and because you    unflinchingly applaud all    songs containing the words country home and    mother when sung at the old howard     Humanity i love you because    when you're hard up you pawn your    intelligence to buy a drink and when    you're flush pride keeps

  6. Emphasized being an individual instead of being a part of the mass of “humanity” • “Poetry and every other art was and is and forever will be strictly and distinctly a question of individuality….Nobody else can be alive for you; nor can you be alive for anybody else.” • “To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best day and night to make you like everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight and never stop fighting.”

  7. since feeling is first who pays any attention to the syntax of things will never wholly kiss you; wholly to be a fool while Spring is in the world my blood approves, and kisses are a better fate than wisdom lady i swear by all flowers. Don't cry - the best gesture of my brain is less than your eyelids' flutter which says we are for each other; then laugh, leaning back in my arms for life's not a paragraph And death i think is no parenthesis

  8. Not just a Modernist… • cummings also harkened back to many of the ideas from the Romantics and Transcendentalists • He loved nature and used lots of nature imagery in his poems • He dealt often with the idea of love and rebirth • He challenged his readers to truly feel joy in being alive • Took old Romantic ideas and made them new by putting them into a new form

  9. NOTHING IS SO DIFFICULT AS TO BE ALIVE!!!!!! which is the ONLY THING WHICH YOU CANNOT LEARN ever,fromanyone,anywhere: it must come out of you;and it never can,until you have KNOCKED DOWN AND CARRIED OUT all the teachable swill of Cambridge. “Unbeing dead isn't being alive.” “I'd rather learn from one bird how to sing than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance”