e. e. cummings

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E. E. Cummings
Edward Estlin Cummings
BirthplaceCambridge, Massachusetts
Known for Poems, plays and other works of art

Cummings, E. E.

Cummings, E. E. (Edward Estlin Cummings), 1894–1962, American poet, b. Cambridge, Mass., grad. Harvard, 1915. His poetry, noted for its eccentricities of typography (notably the lack of capitalization), language, and punctuation, usually seeks to convey a joyful, living awareness of sex and love. Among his 15 volumes are Tulips and Chimneys (1923), his first collection, Is 5 (1926), and 95 Poems (1958). A prose account of his war internment in France, The Enormous Room (1922), is considered one of the finest books written about World War I. Cummings was also an accomplished artist whose paintings and drawings were exhibited in several one-man shows.


See his Complete Poems, 1913–1962 (2 vol., 1972; rev. ed. 2013); biographies by R. S. Kennedy (1980), C. Sawyer-Lauçcanno (2004), and S. Cheever (2014); N. Friedman, Cummings: The Growth of a Writer (1980); J. A. Rosenblitt, The Beauty of Living: E. E. Cummings in the Great War (2020).

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cummings, e. e. (Edward Estlin)

(1894–1962) poet, writer, painter; born in Cambridge, Mass. He studied at Harvard (B.A. 1915; M.A. 1916). As a volunteer ambulance driver in World War I, he got in trouble with the French who kept him in a detention camp for six months; he described the experience in The Enormous Room (1922). He traveled widely but was based in New York City. He is known for his idiosyncratic and typographically inventive poetry, such as Tulips and Chimneys (1937, complete edition). He wrote various works for the stage and was an accomplished painter.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.