E. E. Cummings Poet, Novelist, Painter
Brief Bio Intro • Born Oct 4, 1894 in Caimbridge, MA • Died Sept 3, 1962 in North Conway, NH • BA and MA from Harvard in 1916 and 17 • Ambulance Driver in France during WWI • Married three times- 3rd marriage was happy • Popular poet, novelist and artist in the 40’s and 50’s. Won lots of awards!
Bit of an Overview of His Work • First book “The enormous room” published 1922 about his imprisonment in France • “Tulips and Chimneys,” his first major poetic work published in 1923 • Awarded Shelly Memorial Award for Poetry in 1944, and the Bollingen Prize for Poetry in 1958
He loved to paint in the afternoon, write in the evening. Love Poems Satirical Pieces Nature Poems Individual vs Society, Government and Authority Poems Intro to His Writing
Experimented with… Fresh Metaphors Grammar and word use Form Syntax Spelling Punctuation Mostly Free Verse Some with rhyme schemes Slightly comical Writing Style
The Enormous Room • The Enormous Room was E. E. Cummings first novel, published in 1922. • It was an account of his imrisonment in France during WWI. • The book was a classic example of his negative feelings about government, authority and society.
Tumbling-hair picker of buttercups violets Dandelions And the big bullying daisies through the field wonderful with eyes a little sorry Another comes also picking flowers Tumbling Hair is a poem from Tulips and Chimneys 1923. Example of his free verse form, still experimenting with word placement. Uses strong nature imagery Tulips and Chimneys
r-p-o-p-h-e-s-s-a-g-r who a)s w(e loo)k upnowgath PPEGORHRASS eringint(o- aThe):l eA !p: S a (r rIvInG .gRrEaPsPhOs) to rea(be)rran(com)gi(e)ngly ,grasshopper; This is E. E. Cumming’s poem entitled “r-p-o-p-h-e-s-s-a-g-r.” It is about a grasshopper and is an excellent example of how he experimented with form and punctuation. I admit this poem is over my head. Example of Poem Over My Head
E. E. Cummings • Was one of the most read poets in America. When he died he was second in popularity only to Robert Frost. • He died on September 3rd, 1962 in his farm house in North Conway, NH. • Today he is still a much admired poet for his bizarre form and beautiful verse.