Essay about The Poetry of E.E. Cummings

Essay about The Poetry of E.E. Cummings

Length: 3454 words (9.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Term Papers

Open Document

Essay Preview

The Poetry of E.E. Cummings


Edward Estlen Cummings engages the intuitiveness of readers of his poetry with precision. A painter as well as poet, Cummings uses words to create vivid and visceral moments of meaning that are the beating heart of Cummings’ poetry.

The form and content of E. E. Cummings’ poetry is driven by and results from his own personal philosophy regarding the transcendent importance of love and individualism over reason and societal norms. The relationships between those central themes are here explored in three of his poems, published within a span of fourteen years, with the main focus being the poem, “anyone lived in a pretty how town”.

Cummings was a critical lightening rod in his day, and remains controversial even among some of today’s critics. He is, however, one of America’s most-read poets (Silea 2; Baum 104). The target of this controversy was less his subject matter than the manner in which he expressed it. To varying degrees at different stages of his life, he deconstructed the English language, breaking grammatical structures into bits and pieces, only to put them back together in new and thought-provoking ways. He did not do this in ignorance, but with keen awareness of the rules upon which he transgressed: “trying to write poetry before you’ve learned all there is to know about writing is like…trying build yourself a house from the ridgepole down;instead of laying the foundations first & then erecting a structure on them, story by story” (Letters 205).

By today’s standards, this flouting of convention may seem quite tame. This would in likelihood not be the case were it not for the ground broken, plowed and sown by Cummings.

One of Cumming’s ...


... middle of paper ...


...Poems. New York: Grove Press, Inc., 1926.

Dupee, F. W., and George Stade, eds. Selected Letters of E. E. Cummings. London: Andre Deutsch Limited, 1969.

Dumas, Bethany. E. E. Cummings: A Remembrance of Miracles. New York: Barnes and Noble Books, 1974.

Fairley, Irene. E. E. Cummings and Ungrammar: A Study of Syntactic Deviance in his Poems. New York: Watermill Publishers, 1975.

Friedman, Norman. E. E. Cummings: The Growth of a Writer. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1964.

---. (Re) Valuing Cummings: further essays on the poet. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 1996.

Marks, Barry. E. E. Cummings. New York: Twayne Publishers, Inc., 1964.

Silea, Charles V. “E. E. Cummings: The Relationship between Poetic Form and Content,” Diss. Kent State University, 1962.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay about The Poetry of E.E. Cummings

- The Poetry of E.E. Cummings Edward Estlen Cummings engages the intuitiveness of readers of his poetry with precision. A painter as well as poet, Cummings uses words to create vivid and visceral moments of meaning that are the beating heart of Cummings’ poetry. The form and content of E. E. Cummings’ poetry is driven by and results from his own personal philosophy regarding the transcendent importance of love and individualism over reason and societal norms. The relationships between those central themes are here explored in three of his poems, published within a span of fourteen years, with the main focus being the poem, “anyone lived in a pretty how town”....   [tags: Poetry Poet Poems e e cummings Essays]

Term Papers
3454 words (9.9 pages)

E.E. Cummings: The Birth of Modern Poetry Essay

- “The greatest poets are those with memories so great that they extend beyond their strongest experiences to their minutest observations of people and things far outside their own self-centeredness.” This quote said by Stephen Spender depicts a great poet as someone who utilizes their past observations to increase their knowledge about people, nature, love, and life. Like a great poet, E.E. Cummings employed his past experiences in his poetry and life. Known as one of the preeminent poets of the 20th century, E.E....   [tags: Poetry Analysis]

Term Papers
1876 words (5.4 pages)

Relating to EE Cummings' Poetry Essay examples

- Relating to EE Cummings' Poetry It's not necessarily easy to read. And it's probably harder to understand. But the poetry of ee cummings has made a nitch in our society of innovative minds and experimental art that we cannot argue. Whether we like it, hate it, or throw it down in frustration, we have to appreciate the door this poet has opened for so many generations of writers and stylists. We picked "my sweet old etcetera" because if was the simplist poems to understand, and there's a lot we could say about it (and we each had a 750 word responce paper ahead of us to think about.) "my sweet old etcetera" begins by describing the folks back home and their conversations of know-it-all...   [tags: Biography Biographies Essays]

Free Essays
838 words (2.4 pages)

The Poetry of e.e. cummings Essay example

- The Poetry of e.e. cummings The poems to come are for you and for me and are not for most people. --it's no use trying to pretend that mostpeople and ourselves are alike. Mostpeople have less in common with ourselves than the squarerootofminusone. You and I are human beings;mostpeople are snobs. Take the matter of being born. What does being born mean to mostpeople. Catastrophe unmitigated. Socialrevolution. The cultured aristocrat yanked out of his hyperexclusively ultravoluptuous superpalazzo, and dumped into an incredibly vulgar detentioncamp swarming with every conceivable species of undesirable organism....   [tags: Poet Poetry Poem Poetic Essays]

Term Papers
3352 words (9.6 pages)

Poetry of E. E. Cummings Essay

- Life's Not A Paragraph Throughout his poetry, E. E. Cummings seduces readers deep into a thicket of scrambled words, missing punctuation, and unconventional structure. Within Cummings's poetic bramble, ambiguity leads the reader through what seems at first a confusing and winding maze. However, this confusion actually transforms into a path that leads the reader to the center of the thicket where Cummings's message lies: one should never allow one's experience to be limited by reason and rationality....   [tags: Poetry Poem]

Term Papers
1269 words (3.6 pages)

The Poetry of E. E. Cummings Essay

- The Poetry of E. E. Cummings Is the of style e. e. cummings' poetry its true genius, or the very reason the works should be called drivel. Alfred Kazin says that the poet's style is "arrogant" and "slap stick" and that cummings is "the duality of the traditionalist and the clown"(155). Others, such as Richard P. Blackmur, say his technique is an insult to the writing profession. He says that cummings' poetry would only appeal to those with a "childish spirit"(140). It was Mark Van Doren, though, who probably said the truth about cummings....   [tags: Papers]

Term Papers
1264 words (3.6 pages)

Essay about the Cambridge ladies who lived in furnished souls

- In this essay I will discuss the imagery, diction, and tone of "the Cambridge ladies who lived in furnished souls", but first I will start by explaining my view of this poem. While discussing the imagery of this poem I will display my interpretation of the suggesting pictures of sight, and I will present what I interpreted and how I interpreted the imagery. Then I will discuss the writers choice of words, sentence structure, and how I interpreted the meanings of these dictions. Lastly I will dispute the attitude the writer takes towards the reader....   [tags: e. e. cummings poetry]

Free Essays
1007 words (2.9 pages)

Analysis Of Poem ' E.e ' Essay

- E. E. Cummings Poetry Analysis Caleb Young Mr. Blackmore Honors English 11 May 13 “It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are,” E.E. Cummings wrote and lived by these words. Cummings has often been heralded as one of the most popular poets of the twentieth century, his style avant-garde yet keeping a traditional theme in its texts. He accomplished much, as not just a poet, but an artist all around, from painting to play-writing. From the beginning to the end of his career, Cumming’s poetry kept a similar focus, that being individuality in form, style and syntax....   [tags: Poetry, Sonnet, E. E. Cummings, Ezra Pound]

Term Papers
2496 words (7.1 pages)

Modernist Poets E.E. Cummings, Wallace Stevens, and T.S. Eliot Change the Face of American Poetry

- Modernist Poets E.E. Cummings, Wallace Stevens, and T.S. Eliot Change the Face of American Poetry Modernist poets such as E.E. Cummings, Wallace Stevens, and T.S. Eliot changed the face of American poetry by destroying the notion that American culture is far inferior to European culture. These and other American poets accomplished the feat of defining an American poetic style in the Modern Era by means of a truly American idea. That idea is the melting pot. Just as American culture exists as a mixture of races, beliefs, and ideas, the new American style of poetry exists as a mixture of old English styles with a new concept of the international style....   [tags: Biography Biographies Essays]

Term Papers
1695 words (4.8 pages)

In Just E.E. Cummings Essay

- 'in Just- ' Poem Analyzation What is the a year without spring. Spring is one of the most majestic occasions of the year. It is during the spring time when plants and flowers are blooming with heavenly colors and fragrant odors. In the spring, children dash around in their yards while letting out chuckles. They play games in the flawless weather during this perfect time of year. The sun's shine is more vivid than ever now that winter has passed weeks ago. Who would not want to reminisce this spectacular moment of life....   [tags: poetry, spring, literary tools]

Term Papers
789 words (2.3 pages)