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Definition: Cummings, E.E. (Edward Estlin) from Philip's Encyclopedia

US poet. His first work was a novel, The Enormous Room (1922), which describes his imprisonment in a French detention centre. His reputation rests on his poetry, which is famously characterized by unconventional spelling, punctuation and typography.


Summary Article: Cummings, E(dward) E(stlin) (1894–1962) from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

US poet and novelist. His work is marked by idiosyncratic punctuation and typography (often using only lower case letters in his verse, for example), and a subtle, lyric celebration of life. Before his first collection Tulips and Chimneys (1923), Cummings published an avant-garde novel, The Enormous Room (1922), based on his internment in a French concentration camp during World War I.

His typographical experiments were antecedents of the concrete and sound poetry of the 1960s.

Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Cummings graduated from Harvard University and served in the ambulance corps during World War I. He was imprisoned for a brief period for alleged treasonous statements in his correspondence. Out of this experience came The Enormous Room. Other collections of poetry include XLI (1925), ViVa (1931), and 1 × 1 (1944). Him (1927) was an expressionist drama. Also notable are his paintings, lectures, and the essays ‘Eimi’ (1933), his impressions of the USSR.

quotations

Cummings, E(dward) E(stlin)

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Unofficial E E Cummings Starting Point

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