Cummings, E.E.

Cummings, E.E.

▪ American poet
born October 14, 1894, Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.
died September 3, 1962, North Conway, New Hampshire
 American poet and painter who first attracted attention, in an age of literary experimentation, for his eccentric punctuation and phrasing. The spirit of New England dissent and of Emersonian “Self-Reliance” underlies the urbanized Yankee colloquialism of Cummings's verse. Cummings's name is often styled “e.e. cummings” in the mistaken belief that the poet legally changed his name to lowercase letters only. Cummings used capital letters only irregularly in his verse and did not object when publishers began lowercasing his name, but he himself capitalized his name in his signature and in the title pages of original editions of his books.

      Cummings received his B.A. degree from Harvard University in 1915 and was awarded his M.A. in 1916. During World War I he served with an ambulance corps in France, where he was interned for a time in a detention camp because of his friendship with an American who had written letters home that the French censors thought critical of the war effort. This experience deepened Cummings's distrust of officialdom and was symbolically recounted in his first book, The Enormous Room (1922).

      In the 1920s and '30s he divided his time between Paris, where he studied art, and New York City. His first book of verse was Tulips and Chimneys (1923), followed by XLI Poems and & (1925); in the latter year he received the Dial award for distinguished service to American letters.

      In 1927 his play him was produced by the Provincetown Players in New York City. During these years he exhibited his paintings and drawings, but they failed to attract as much critical interest as his writings. Eimi (1933) recorded, in 432 pages of experimental prose, a 36-day visit to the Soviet Union, which confirmed his individualist repugnance for collectivism. He published his discussions as the Charles Eliot Norton lecturer on poetry at Harvard University (1952–53) under the title i: six nonlectures (1953).

      In all he wrote 12 volumes of verse, assembled in his two-volume Complete Poems (1968). Cummings's moods were alternately satirical and tough or tender and whimsical. He frequently used the language of the streets and material from burlesque and the circus. His erotic poetry and love lyrics had a childlike candour and freshness.

* * *

Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Cummings — ist schottischen Ursprungs und der Familienname folgender Personen: Alexander Cummings (Politiker) (1810–1879), US amerikanischer General und Politiker Amos J. Cummings (1841–1902), US amerikanischer Politiker Burton Cummings, kanadischer Musiker …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • CUMMINGS (E. E.) — CUMMINGS EDWARD ESTLIN (1894 1962) Après des études à Harvard, Cummings est mobilisé en 1917, lors de l’entrée en guerre des États Unis. Il est envoyé en France, où une fausse accusation de trahison lui vaut d’être incarcéré durant plusieurs… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Cummings —   [ kʌmɪȖz], E. E. (Edward Estlin), amerikanischer Dichter, * Cambridge (Massachusetts) 14. 10. 1894, ✝ North Conway (N. H.) 3. 9. 1962; war im Ersten Weltkrieg freiwilliger Frontsoldat; kam wegen Spionageverdachts in Frankreich in Haft; auf… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Cummings — [kum′iŋz] E(dward) E(stlin) 1894 1962; U.S. poet: also written e e cummings …   English World dictionary

  • Cummings — (Edward Estlin) (1894 1962) écrivain américain. Ses poèmes sont des quasi calligrammes: Tulipes et Cheminées (1923), Poésies complètes (1923 1954) …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Cummings — Cummings, E.E. 1894 1962) a US poet known for writing poems with no ↑capital letters and for playing with the way poems are arranged on a page and with ↑punctuation, in poems such as anyone lived in a little how town …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Cummings — For the poet known as Cummings, see E. E. Cummings. Contents 1 People 2 Places 3 Ships 4 Other 5 …   Wikipedia

  • Cummings —  Cette page d’homonymie répertorie des personnes (réelles ou fictives) partageant un même patronyme. Pour les articles homonymes, voir Cumming. Cummings est un nom de famille notamment porté par : Bruce Frederic Cummings (1889 1919),… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Cummings — /ˈkʌmɪŋz/ (say kumingz) noun 1. Bart (James Bartholomew Cummings), born 1927, Australian racehorse trainer; trained 12 Melbourne Cup winners. 2. Edward Estlin (e e cummings), 1894–1962, US poet, writer, and painter; noted for his experimental use …   Australian-English dictionary

  • cummings — noun United States writer noted for his typographically eccentric poetry (1894 1962) • Syn: ↑e. e. cummings, ↑Edward Estlin Cummings • Instance Hypernyms: ↑writer, ↑author …   Useful english dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”