E. E. Cummings (1894–1962) was among the most influential, widely read, and revered modernist poets. He was also a playwright, a painter, and a writer of prose. Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, he studied at Harvard University and, during World War I, served with an ambulance corps in France. He spent three months in a French detention camp and subsequently wrote The Enormous Room, a highly acclaimed criticism of World War I. After the war, Cummings returned to the States and published his first collection of poetry, Tulips & Chimneys, which was characterized by his innovative style: pushing the boundaries of language and form while discussing love, nature, and war with sensuousness and glee. He spent the rest of his life painting, writing poetry, and enjoying widespread popularity and success.
Selected Poemsby E. E. Cummings
"No one else has ever made avant-garde, experimental poems so attractive to both the general and the special reader."Randall JarrellThe one hundred and fifty-six poems here, arranged in twelve sections and introduced by E. E. Cummings's biographer, Richard S. Kennedy, include his most popular poems, spanning his earliest creations, his vivacious linguistic acrobatics, up to his last valedictory sonnets. Also featured are thirteen drawings, oils, and watercolors by Cummings, most of them never before published.
- Liveright Publishing Corporation
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Cummings is a great poet, and I love his work. With that being said, this book is difficult to read because of the excessivly annoying introductions to each section of poems it contains. I am a person who wants to read the poetry myself, not to have it analyzed for me and I really do not appriciate these analysies being stuck stratigicly through the book making them very difficult to ignore. Overall, I belive it would be a better idea to buy a different copy of Cumming's work. I would rather the book was just left as Cummings's work only.
If you love poetry, real poetry of a literary caliber (i.e. not most love poems save for John Donne's and company) then you shouldn't dare call your bookshelf a library without at least one copy of an E.E. Cummings book. He not only uses rhymed verse, but experiments in all forms of poetry from classical Shakespearean sonnets to modern/post-modern style poems that achieve aesthetic greatness. Cummings blends his love of and expertice in art with his legendary abilities of the written word. Wow! If you love quality literature and/or art in any form, this book should be your Bible short of the real thing...