Poet of the Week | E.E. Cummings

By Administrator RSS Thu, July 19, 2007

Edward Estlin Cummings, aka E.E. Cummings, was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1894. While at Harvard, he published his first work in 1917 in the anthology Eight Harvard Poets. He volunteered for a French ambulance service during World War I and was interned at a prison camp on suspicion of espionage. Cummings returned to Paris to study art and pursue a writing career. While there, he published his first book of poetry, Tulips and Chimneys, with the help of the novelist John Dos Passos. For most of the 1920s, he divided his time between Paris and New York City, eventually returning to the United States for good. Cummings became well-known for his innovative use of slang and experimentation with form, syntax, and spelling. He won many awards, including an Academy of American Poets Fellowship, two Guggenheim Fellowships, the Charles Eliot Norton Professorship at Harvard, the Bollingen Prize in Poetry, and a Ford Foundation grant. He died in 1962 having completely altered the face of American poetry.


as freedom is a breakfastfood


as freedom is a breakfastfood
or truth can live with right and wrong
or molehills are from mountains made
--long enough and just so long
will being pay the rent of seem
and genius please the talentgang
and water most encourage flame


as hatracks into peachtrees grow
or hopes dance best on bald men's hair
and every finger is a toe
and any courage is a fear
--long enough and just so long
will the impure think all things pure
and hornets wail by children stung


or as the seeing are the blind
and robins never welcome spring
nor flatfolk prove their world is round
nor dingsters die at break of dong
and common's rare and millstones float
--long enough and just so long
tomorrow will not be too late


worms are the words but joy's the voice
down shall go which and up come who
breasts will be breasts thighs will be thighs
deeds cannot dream what dreams can do
--time is a tree (this life one leaf)
but love is the sky and i am for you
just so long and long enough

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