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Ee Cummings Poetry

E.E. Cummings Poems

Edward Estlin Cummings (1894-1962), better known as ee Cummings, was one of the most revolutionary American poets of the 20th century. His work borrowed from the avant-garde, but often displayed more conventional form, including his numerous sonnets.

A few of E.E. Cummings' more famous poems that Paper Masters suggests ordering research on include the following:

  • I Carry Your Heart With Me
  • You Are Tired
  • Love is More Thicker Than Forget
  • I Have Found What You Are Like
  • I Shall Imagine Life

Cummings and World War I

Like many of his generation, E.E. Cummings writing was heavily influenced by his experiences in World War I, where he served, along with John Dos Passos, as an ambulance driver. However, in September 1917, Cummings was arrested by French authorities on suspicion of espionage, spending three and half months in a detention camp.

In his poetry, Cummings was drawing on many of the European art movements that emerged after the war, including surrealism and Dada. Most of his work was composed in free verse, without regard for either rhyme or meter. Yet a great deal of his work retains traditional structure with intricate rhyme schemes. Many of his poems are seemingly unconcerned with punctuation, which on the page make little sense, but must be read aloud in order to be understood. E.E. Cummings was also a painter and treated many of his poems as he would a painting: deliberately using presentation, painting a picture with words instead of oils. Some of his works were erotic and many were misunderstood, especially those in which he employed derogatory terms in order to highlight how they are used to perpetuate stereotypes.

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