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An Unofficial E. E. Cummings Starting Point

Edward Estlin Cummings
October 14, 1894 - September 3, 1962

E. E. Cummings was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts to Edward and Rebecca
Haswell Clarke Cummings. Intensely creative, Cummings was also a fine artist,
playwright and novelist; his  life and art were tightly interwoven. Known for
typographic innovation, Cummings controlled both the look and the content of
his poems.


Contents

Information about The E. E. Cummings Society and its journal, Spring.

A small, informal bibliography

Chronology

Links

Notes on the capitalization of "E. E. Cummings"

Linked sites will open in a separate browser window.


The E. E. Cummings Society

A resource not to be overlooked is The E. E. Cummings Society. Its journal, Spring, is published annually, and includes papers presented at the American Literature Association's conference, original poetry, news, and notices of events relating to the subject E. E. Cummings. Critical essays, so often requested here, are found within its pages, as are reproductions of Cummings' artwork.

Spring now has its own website at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan: http://www.gvsu.edu/english/Cummings/Index.htm. Included are notes on Cummings' works, a complete bibliography, links to other sites, and two important essays about the capitalization of Cummings' name.

Membership in The E. E. Cummings Society is $17.50; $12.50 for students; $22.50 for libraries, and includes a subscription to Spring.

Send subscriptions and submissions (manuscripts must be accompanied by a self-addressed stamped envelope) to:
Norman Friedman
33-54 164th Street
Flushing, New York 11358-1442

E-mail concerning Spring and The E. E. Cummings Society may be directed to Alys Rho Yablon at: Alys.Yablon@thefreepress.simonandschuster.com.


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A small, informal bibliography . . .

A Concordance to the Complete Poems of E. E. Cummings (Cornell Concordances) edited by Katherine Winters McBride 1989, Cornell University Press. ISBN: 0801422396. This book can help bring that long-remembered fragment to realization. A Concordance to the Complete Poems of E. E. Cummings is expensive and hard to find; check your library's reference department.

E. E. Cummings Complete Poems 1904-1962 edited by George J. Firmage 1991, (Centennial edition published 1994 in celebration of Cummings' birth on October 14, 1894) Liveright Publishing Corporation, New York. ISBN: 0-87140-152-5. In the Editor's note, Firmage leads, "This revised, corrected and expanded edition . . . " What more can one say? All the published poems and more are in this book.

E. E. Cummings Revisited by Richard S. Kennedy 1994, Twayne Publishers, New York. Part of the Twayne's United States Authors Series (No. 637). ISBN: 0805739955. This book was "published to coincide with the centennial of the American poet's birth," and includes photos, artwork and a chronology.

E. E. Cummings Selected Poems edited by Richard S. Kennedy 1994, Liveright Publishing Corporation, New York. ISBN: 0-87140-153-3 cloth, 0-87140-154-1 paper. Another book by Kennedy, organized around biographical information on Cummings, with the poems grouped by content. The book also contains black and white plates of Cummings' art and photography, and has one black and white photograph of Cummings at his studio window at Harvard.

Kennedy has also published a thorough yet readable biography of E. E. Cummings, Dreams in the Mirror, 1980, Liveright Publishing Corporation, New York. ISBN: 087140155X. Also in paperback, 1994, Liveright. Includes photos, drawings and bibliographical references. This is a must-read.

A rather artistically written biography of E. E. Cummings is found in American Writers. This article includes a bibliography. Check your library's reference department.

E. E. Cummings A Collection of Critical Essays, Norman Friedman, ed., 1972, Part of the Twentieth Century Views series, contains essays by the likes of William Carlos Williams and Robert Graves, and an excellent bibliography. ISBN: 0131955454.

Re Valuing Cummings : Further Essays on the Poet, 1962-1993 by Norman Friedman, 1996. I have not seen this book, however, the publisher's review at Amazon.com suggests Friedman's book could be essential in understanding Cummings and his works. ISBN: 0813014433.

Research Guide to Biography and Criticism, Literature, by Walter Beacham, 1985, Research Publishing, Washington, DC. Five pages of resources to aid your research. Check your library's reference department for this one, too.

The Little Tree, illustrated by Deborah Kogan Ray, 1987, Crown Publishers, Inc., New York. ISBN: 0-517-56598-6. Cummings' Christmas poem brought to life by Ray's illustrations. Find a child and read this one together.

Hist Whist, illustrated by Deborah Kogan Ray, 1989, Crown Publishers, Inc., New York. ISBN: 0-517-57360-1. Cummings' Halloween poem beautifully illustrated by Deborah Kogan Ray.

Microsoft Bookshelf '95 has a brief sound clip of (apparently) Cummings reading the first verse of anyone lived in. A black and white photograph of E.E. Cummings accompanies this article.

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Chronology

1894: Edward Estlin Cummings born, October 14, Cambridge, Massachusetts to Edward and Rebecca Haswell Clarke Cummings.

1911: Enters Harvard.

1912: First published poems in Harvard Monthly.

1915: Graduates Harvard Magna cum Laude, delivers commencement, "The New Art."

1916: Receives M.A. for English and Classical Studies from Harvard.

1917: Ambulance driver with Norton Harjes Ambulance Corps (American Red Cross), France.
Published in Eight Harvard Poets.
Imprisoned by French authorities on suspicion of disloyalty.

1918: Released from prison New Year's Day, returns to New York City.
Drafted into United States Army until Armistice.

1919: December 20: a daughter, Nancy, born to Elaine Orr [Thayer] and Cummings.

1920: Appears in the Dial.

1921: Returns to Paris and studies art. Remains until 1923 but often returns.

1922: The Enormous Room published.

1923: Returns to New York City. Resides at 4 Patchin Place, Greenwich Village.

1923: Tulips and Chimneys published.

1924: Marries Elaine Orr on March 19. They are divorced December 4.

1925: Receives the Dial Award.
& and XLI Poems published.

1925: Essayist for Vanity Fair and other journals until 1927.
Edward Cummings, father, dies.

1927: Marries Anne Barton
Him published.

1930: No Title and Anthropos: The Future of Art published.

1931: Visits Russia.
First major show of paintings at Painters and Sculptors Gallery, New York City.
CIOPW and VV (ViVa) published.

1932: Marries Marion Morehouse. *See note about this date.

1933: Guggenheim Fellowship.
Eimi and The Red Front published.

1934: Divorce to Anne Barton granted, August 31. *See note about this date.

1935: Tom and no thanks published.

1938: Collected Poems published.

1940: 50 Poems published.

1944: 1 x 1 published.

1945: Writes introduction to collection of Krazy Kat comic strips.

1946: Santa Claus (A Morality) published.

1947: Rebecca Haswell Clarke Cummings, mother, dies.

1950: Fellowship of American Academy of Poets.
Xaipe published.

1951: Guggenheim Fellowship.

1952: Charles Eliot Norton Professor at Harvard.

1953: i:six Nonlectures published.

1954: Poems 1923-1954 published.

1955: Special citation for Poems 1923-1954 by National Book Awards.

1957: Bollingen Prize in Poetry and Boston Arts Festival Award.

1958: 95 poems and E. E. Cummings: A Miscellany published.

1962: Dies September 3, North Conway, New Hampshire of a brain hemorrhage.
Adventures in Value with (Marion Morehouse) published.

1963: 73 poems published.

1965: Fairy Tales published.

1969: Selected Letters of E. E. Cummings published.

1972: Complete Poems: 1913-1962 published.

*Note:
Friedman, in E.E. Cummings A Collection of Critical Essays, gives 1932 as the year of Cummings' marriage to Marion Morehouse. However, in Dreams in the Mirror, Kennedy gives 1934 as the year of Cummings' divorce to Anne Barton, after which Marion Morehouse was considered Cummings' wife. Kennedy also states there is uncertainty as to whether Cummings and Morehouse actually held a wedding ceremony.


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Links
Linked sites will open in a separate browser window.

My new favorite poetry site. Plenty of content (including EEC) found here:
Famous Poets And Poems - A large collection of Poems and Quotes from famous Classical Poets. Read and Enjoy Poetry!

Grouped by themes and especially useful for teachers, Poems For All Occasions links to many poetry resources (including the above). Thanks to Sarah Morris for bringing it to my attention.

Two poems by Cummings, a man who had fallen among thieves and anyone lived in a pretty how town, viewed from a med/lit POV are found here at NYU's Medical Humanities pages. Pretty interesting site; poke around.

E. E. Cummings page at The Academy of American Poets. This page includes several of Cummings' poems and an audio file of Cummings reading "why must itself up every of a park."



The following are not E. E. Cummings links, but are somehow related . . . in

my

mind, at least.


Harvard University WWW Home Page.

E. E. Cummings had a special relationship with Krazy Kat . . . his favorite comic strip. Elisabeth Crocker's site addresses Krazy Kat's gender-bending, and has annotated Krazy Kat comics as well. George Herrmiman's Krazy Kat .

Where Cummings' friends and acquaintances (and many more) hang out . . . Great Writers.

Cummings explored Cubism in his paintings, but I have found some disagreement on the carry-over of this style to his poetry. Richard Kennedy's Dreams in the Mirror clearly relates the Cubist influence in Cummings' poetry; George Haines IV's essay : : 2 : 1 ( E. E. Cummings A Collection of Critical Essays), disagrees, claiming this misunderstands "either Cummings or Cubism" (p.29). Here's another link about Cubism: Cubism from the WebMuseum.

If only I would write according to Mr. Strunk's guidelines . . . this is site pre-E.B.W.
The Elements of Style.


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Notes on the capitalization of "E. E. Cummings"

Thanks to Sangman Lee at Stanford University for providing a quote from the preface of E. E. Cummings Revisited, by Richard S. Kennedy, 1994. Here Kennedy states Cummings' name should name be capitalized, and that the E. E. Cummings Society has been working to correct the misinformation that Cummings had an all lower case version of his name legalized.

Norman Friedman's essays about this subject have been recently posted on the Grand Valley State University site. Please read these authoritative pieces.

However, note that the edition of American Writers I've seen states Cummings legalized "e. e. cummings" as the signature to his poems.


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This page is my attempt to provide information on resources about E. E. Cummings. Please note that I do not have any sources or references that are not listed on this page. I regret that I am not able to research sources for visitors to this site, honor requests for more information, about other websites, or critical reviews.

Awarded Tripod Booktalk's
Best of Pod week of November 17, 1997.
Last update May 25, 2006.

E-mail: eec_start@yahoo.com

All original text, graphics and artwork 2000 Douglas M. Wipf.

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