E. E. Cummings by: Isaiah hight

Edward Estlin Cummings was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on October 14, 1894. By the time he was 10 years old Edward was already writing poems and learning Latin and Greek at the local high school. By 1916 Edward had his BA (Bachelor of the Arts) and MA (Master Degree) both from Harvard University. While studying at Harvard he started writing avant-garde poems in which conventional punctuation and syntax were ignored in favor of a dynamic use of language. His first couple of poems were published in the anthology Eight Harvard Poets. It was a collection of poems by members of the Harvard Poetry Society it was published in 1917. That same year Cummings left the United States for France as a Volunteer ambulance driver in World War I. He and a friend were interned in a prison camp by the French authorities on suspicion of espionage. Cummings later wrote a book about his experience while in the camp it's called “The Enormous Room”. After his release after being in a detention camp in France for 3 months he came back to the U.S. to further his career. When he came back he bought two houses a lifetime summer home in, Joy Farm in New Hampshire, and Greenwich Village, he also frequently visited Paris though his life. In his work, Cummings experimented radically with form, punctuation, spelling, and syntax, abandoning traditional techniques and structures to create a new, highly idiosyncratic means of poetic expression. He was often criticised for the work he did because it was different but Edward kept on making it how he liked it. Cumming’s had a car accident in 1926, which killed his father and injured his mother severely. His father’s death had a profound effect on him which led to him entering an entirely new period in his artistic life. He paid homage to his father in his poem ‘My father moved through dooms of love’. The poet that inspired E. E. Cummings the most was Amy Lowell, but the poet E. E. Cummings admired was Pablo Picasso who he got to meet many times over his lifetime. E. E. Cummings had two marriages, first one to Elaine Orr and second one to Anne Minnerly Barton. He had a daughter with his first wife out of wedlock. After separation from his second wife, Cummings met a fashion model and photographer Marion Morehouse. Even though the two lived together till he breathed his last, it is not clear whether the two were ever formally married. At the time of his death, September 3, 1962, he was the second most widely read poet in the United States, after Robert Frost. He won numerous awards such as Shelley Memorial Award, Harriet Monroe Prize and Bollingen Prize for Poetry. He is buried in Forest Hills Cemetery in Boston, Massachusetts.

Work Cited

Doe, John. "E. E. Cummings." Poetry Foundation. Poetry Foundation, 13 July 2013. Web. 16 Dec. 2016. <https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poets/detail/e-e-cummings>.

Doe, John “E. E. Cummings.” Poets.org. Poets.org, 19 Sept. 2015. Web. 19 Dec. 2016. <https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poet/e-e-cummings>

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