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.


Graphics enhanced version

A small, informal bibliography



OK, now his name is capitalized here!


A small, informal bibliography . . .

A Concordance to the Complete Poems of E.E. Cummings (Cornell Concordances) edited by Katherine Winters McBride (C) 1989, Cornell University Press. ISBN: 0801422396. I have yet to see this book, but how could it not be on my wish list? The book to have to bring that long-remembered fragment into realization. Check libraries for this one; it is rather expensive and may be hard to find.

E. E. Cummings Complete Poems 1904-1962 edited by George J. Firmage (C) 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 (C) 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 (C) 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, (C) 1980, Liveright Publishing Corporation, New York. ISBN: 087140155X. 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., (C) 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.

Research Guide to Biography and Criticism, Literature, by Walter Beacham, (C) 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, (C) 1987, Crown Publishers, Inc., New York. Cummings' Christmas poem, brought to life by Ray's illustrations. Find a child and read this one together.

Microsoft Bookshelf '95, and hopefully later editions, has a brief sound clip of (apparently) Cummings reading the first verse of anyone lived in. This article is accompanied by a black and white photograph of E. E. Cummings.

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Edward Estlin Cummings born, October 14, Cambridge, Massachusetts to Edward and Rebecca Haswell Clarke Cummings.
Enters Harvard.
First published poems in Harvard Monthly.
Graduates Harvard Magna cum Laude, delivers commencement, "The New Art."
Receives M.A. for English and Classical Studies from Harvard.
Ambulance Driver with Norton Harjes Ambulance Corps (American Red Cross), France.
Published in Eight Harvard Poets.
Imprisoned by French authorities on suspicion of disloyalty.
Released from prison New Year's Day, returns to New York City.
Drafted into United States Army until Armistice.
Appears in the Dial.
Returns to Paris and studies art. Remains until 1923, often returns.
The Enormous Room published.
Returns to New York City. Resides at 4 Patchin Place, Greenwich Village.
Tulips and Chimneys published.
Marries Elaine Orr.
Recieves the Dial Award.
& and XLI Poems published.
Essayist for Vanity Fair and other journals until 1927.
Is 5 published.
Edward Cummings, father, dies.
Marries Anne Barton
Him published.
No Title and Anthropos: The Future of Art published.
Visits Russia.
First major show of paintngs at Painters and Sculptors Gallery, New York City.
CIOPW and VV (ViVa) published.
Marries Marion Morehouse.
Guggenheim Fellowship.
Eimi and The Red Front published.
Tom and no thanks published.
Collected Poems published.
50 Poems published.
1 x 1 published.
Writes introduction to collection of Krazy Kat comic strips.
Santa Claus (A Morality) published.
Rebecca Haswell Clarke Cummings, mother, dies.
Fellowship of American Academy of Poets.
Xaipe published.
Guggenheim Fellowship.
Charles Eliot Norton Professor at Harvard.
i:six Nonlectures published.
Poems 1923-1954 published.
Special citation for Poems 1923-1954 by National Book Awards.
Bollingen Prize in Poetry and Boston Arts Festival Award.
95 poems and E. E. Cummings: A Miscellany published.
Dies September 3, North Conway, New Hampshire.
Adventures in Value with (Marion Morehouse) published.
73 poems published.
Fairy Tales published.
Selected Letters of E. E. Cummings published.
Complete Poems: 1913-1962 published.

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Hmmm . . . the web isn't exactly awash with E. E. Cummings pages, but I've had a bit of a look, and unfortunately, most of the time a Cummings poem will be found reprinted without citation or permission. Other pages will lead with a quote pulled from a Cummings poem to illustrate the page's theme or the author's state of mind.

So, let's see what we do have!

A selection of Cummings' poetry is found at Berkeley's Gopher.

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. Start at "D" and scroll up to find Cummings (as new annotations are added, the index numbers change, so no direct jumping allowed from here). Pretty interesting site; poke around.

The text of Cummings' introduction to the Krazy Kat comic strip collection is found at Krazy Kat - The Coconino County Page. This site is wonderful . . .

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. "'To He, I Am For Evva True'": Krazy Kat's Indeterminate Gender. Also visit Crocker's 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; GeorgeHaines 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 two other links about Cubism in case you're interested: Cubism from the WebMuseum and a Cubist-Abstract Slide Show.

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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OK, now his name is capitalized here!

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' 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. I'm convinced, looking forward to seeing a copy of Kennedy's book, and have made the appropriate changes to this page. It's still worth taking a look at the Canadian Press style guide. Also, 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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Last update January 1, 1998. All original text, graphics and artwork (C) 1998 Douglas M. Wipf.