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.
Cummings, E(dward) E(stlin)
Unofficial E E Cummings Starting Point
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