Introduction: the wit and sensitivity of “ee cummings”
The popularity of Edward Cummings (known as “ee cummings”) and his creative heritage has never been fully consistent with his critical reputation. Some of his readers view him as a genius, whereas the others believe the syntactic complexity of his poems is not justified by the naivety of their underlying themes. In fact, it is possible to identify a peculiar charm in his works, as they seem open, sincere and create a sense of intimacy, which is particularly important to modern individualists who might find it difficult to establish close relationships with others. On the one hand, Cummings is viewed as a Romantic, an exalted and principled dreamer, whose ambitions and aspirations were fully realized in his supporting family and thirteen volumes of poetry which he contributed to the society’s cultural development. On the other, he was also a Modernist with his inherent vigorous satire and experiments with forms, ideas and senses. Most critics (Foner and Garranty, p.254; Reef, p. 29) consent to the idea that Cummings invented a unique form and style of poetic expression, a poem which sings itself. The present paper is intended to discuss the life, work and legacy of E.E.Cummings.
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An overview of life and major works of the poet
Edward Estlin Cummings was born on October 14, 1894 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to the family of Edward Cummings, a professor of sociology and later a Unitarian Minister, and Rebecca Haswell Clarke (Foner and Garraty, p.254). The poet always described his father as a heroic and productive personality, who was well-skilled for multiple activities and tasks from preaching to repairing broken toes. Rebecca Clarke was a housewife, but did not limit her maternal to meeting the child’s basic needs, as she also enabled and supported his harmonious development by encouraging the prospective poet to write verses since the early years of his life (Foner and Garraty, p.254). He received education at the Cambridge Latin School and Harvard College, from which he graduated in year 1915 with honors in Greek and English. In 1916 Cummings received A.M. from Harvard. Through his friendship with John Dos Passos and Scofield Thayer he developed strong interest in new avant-garde art and new movements, so his experiments with free verse and cubism in painting began (Reef, p.15). His poems were published in the Harvard Advocate, the university mass medium. In 1917, Cummings’s verses appeared in the book entitled Eight Harvard Poets. In the same year the United States joined World War I, and the poet was enrolled as a volunteer for the Norton-Harjes Ambulance Corps. Later, however, Cummings was charged with espionage for liberal views: “[…] he and his friend William Slater Brown were arrested on suspicion of espionage because Brown’s letters had expressed pacifist views. […]Released from prison after four months, he was sent back to the United States, where he was drafted into the army” (Kennedy, par.3). After the war Cummings tried hard to attain celebrity as a cubist painter, but the New York bohemia knew him predominantly as an unordinary poet, as his poems were published at that time in avant-garde magazines like the Dial. Whereas in college Cummings wrote according to the Imagist principles which included emphasizing the rhythms of colloquial language, compression and precision in expression and avoiding the traditional poetic rhetoric, after 1918 he seemed to create his own style: “Because he was a painter as well as a poet, he had developed a unique form of literary cubism: he broke up his material on the page to present it in a new, visually directed way” (Reef, p.25). As Cummings himself proclaimed, poems were to manifest themselves in a three-dimensional way so that the reader could see, hear and comprehend them (MacGowan, p.72). His first manuscript of poems, Tulips & Chimneys (1923) contained both traditional verses, written in the earlier college years as well as his unconventional forms of poetic expression. The collection was composed of love lyrics, sonnets, which often implied allusions to other authors, descriptions of beautiful landscapes, rhymed scenes of city’s daily routines, rhymed satirical sketches and erotic epigrams (Shucard, Moramarco and Sullivan, p.193). However, the modern publishers were shocked by his sharp and witty illustrations of contemporary politicians, Salvation Army members and prostitutes, so the manuscript subsequently turned into three books: Tulips and Chimneys (1923), XLI poems (1925) and privately punished collection entitled & (1925).
In 1924 the poet married Elaine Orr, the former spouse of his first tutor and inspirer Scofield Thayer, they had a daughter Nancy, but after a year of marital life, Elaine escaped to create a family with an Irish banker and prevented Cummings from seeing the child (Shucard, Moramarco and Sullivan, p.194). In 1929, his marital union with Anne Barton began, but it also resulted in divorce in 1932. These years were marked with the growth of the poet’s cynicism and criticism in relation to the American culture, reflected in his volumes of poems entitled Is 5 (1926), ViVa (1931) and No Thanks (1935).
In 1931 Cummings took a six-week trip to Soviet Russia, which he fully recorded in his diary and which subsequently inspired him to compose Eimi (1933), an idiosyncratic prose work, in which the Communist countries are compared to the circles of inferno (Shucard, Moramarco and Sullivan, p.193). In 1934 he began to live in a common law marriage with fashion model Marion Morehouse, who stayed with him till the end of his days. The tone of his poems changed correspondingly, as Cummings’s 50 Poems (1940), 1X1 (1944) and Xaipe (1950) manifested the contention, satisfaction and fulfillment of a mature individualist rather the infantile ideal-seeker who appeared in Tulips & Chimneys: “These books express more clearly the individualistic philosophy of life that Cummings had developed out of his dedication to art and his casting off the restraints of society. What emerges is his affirmation of life in all its essential forms, but especially in whatever is natural, unpretentious, and unique” (Kennedy, par.8). Thus, his core traits had not changed under the influence of happy family life, since Cummings remained honest, straightforward and incorruptible.
In 1946, Cummings accidentally reunited with his daughter Nancy without knowing at first that he was painting the portrait of his child. By that time she was a married woman, so the poet also met his grandchildren. This wonderful meeting was reflected in Cummings’s play Santa Claus (1946), a kind Christmas tale which glorified unselfish love and self-sacrifice (American Poems, par. 4). In the 1950s, he also made a career as a lecturer and reader of his poems at Harvard and other college campuses. His last volume entitled 95 Poems was published in 1958, when he had acquired fame, great reputation and several valuable awards from larger literary societies. In 1962, Edward Estlin Cummings died of a stroke.
Understanding love and erotic lyrics of E.E.Cummings
E.E. Cummings is commonly described by his biographers as a sensitive person, whose perception of this personality quality was to certain extent pathological and transformed into snobbish in his attitude towards pragmatic or psychologically resistible people (Reef, p.35; Shucard, Moramarco and Sullivan, p.193; Monroe, p.212). He regarded love as the desirable emotional state which helps a person experience life in a more comprehensive way. One of the prominent examples of Cummings’s early love lyrics is the poem entitled “Thy fingers make early flowers”, which appears to be a manifestation of youth, courage and desire for love. The protagonist of the verse is a girl, an embodiment of Spring, who will always bring her warmth into this world as frosty winter ends. Although the character seems anthropomorphous at first: “Thy fingers make early flowers/ of all things./ thy hair mostly the hours love:/ a smoothness which sings” (Cummings, lines 1-5). On the other hand, this ostensibly female character is to certain extent amorphous, as the author implies that she moves smoothly and follows the cyclical principle of nature due to the existence of certain seasons and times for her to let down her hair (Welch, p.28; Webster, p.61). Moreover, she brings flowers to everyone enchanted by this divinity of spring, regardless of gender (Cummings, lines 13-14). In the final stanza, the mood of the poem changes from delight to determination, as the author seems to contrast Spring to Death that attempts to deprave human lives and relationships (Welch, p.28). However, the author proclaims that even Death which intervenes with the most courageous life plans and the strongest passions, cannot prevent the true youth from following the natural calling of Spring: “though love be a day, and life be nothing, it shall not stop kissing)” (Cummings, lines 20-21). As one can assume, the verse conveys the message about the magic of the moment when Spring is making her first steps on the melting snow, filling human hearts with joy and warmth. This poem seems a typical Modernist work by its form, as its distinctive elements are capitalization of the word “Always” in the middle of the line, unorthodox grammar which cannot be explained with any existing rules and repetition of the phrase “though love be a day” in brackets. At the same time, due to the fact that Modernists often rejected traditional values including love, it is possible to identify the components of Romanticism in the poem which obviously extols affection, passion and attachment. Notably, the poem also prioritizes courting and courtesy (e.g. bringing flowers) as a technique of developing rapport and mutual understanding. In this sense, “Thy fingers make early flowers” resemble the poetry of Renaissance minstrels, who often addressed woman as Madonna in their songs. Given that the heroine of Cummings’s poem is an anthropomorphous natural force, or goddess and ideal woman who embodies love freed from common sense and practical reason, the theme in “Thy fingers make early flowers” is consistent and comparable with the ideas from Renaissance poetry (Welch, p.39).
A similarly naive and romantic account of love can be found in “who knows if the moon’s” (1925) from &. Its main theme is the closeness of two lovers while they are being asleep, which implies that they are staying together even in their night dreams. The tone of the verse is kind, since the author focuses on loving and caring people transcend to the world of dreams hand in hand: “who knows if the moon’s/ a balloon,coming out of a keen city/ in the sky – filled with pretty people?/(and if you and I should/ get into it,if they/should take me and take you into their balloon,/why then/we’d go up higher with all the pretty people” (Cummings, lines 1-8). The presence of “you” in the verse means the author is willing to make his night way to the heights of the other world in the company of his beau, or the woman he fully trusts. The person becomes particularly defenseless after falling asleep, as their senses are temporary disabled, so the joint promenade to the country of dreams is probably the most genuine gesture of trust and confidence in the partner as well as a sign of extraordinary spiritual and emotional intimacy. The scene of two lovers meeting in their dreams is both touching and inspiring, so this “lullaby for the beloved” reveals Cummings’s belief that love is a miracle-play which brings about supernatural experiences.
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One of the most beautiful and frequently cited works of love lyrics is “somewhere i have never travelled” (1931) that represents a less passionate, but much deeper and more mature confession (Welch, p.28).This verse has similar imagery and themes to those in “Thy fingers make early flowers”, but while the latter portrays a non-existent ideal, the former addresses a woman of flesh and blood. Cummings’s symbols of love in both poetry works include lightness, which points to the fragility of the growing feeling, petals which symbolize the delicacy and tenderness of the beau, melting snow that represents the awakening heart and finally, supremacy of love over death. Again, this verse is an allusion to minstrels’ creative works and poetry of sentimentalism (early Romanticism), as the narrator almost deifies the lady who captured his mind: “nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals/ the power of intense fragility: whose texture/ compels me with the color of countries,/ rendering death and forever with each breathing” (Cummings, lines 13-16). Therefore, the presence of this woman cures him from the fear of death which is replaced with the sense of “forever”. In addition, the poet depicts a true quintessence of femininity, or a fragile, defenseless woman with small hands, long hair and slight gestures that have deep meanings. Thus, the poem might be also viewed as the author’s response to the spreading feminism which encouraged females to employ masculine patterns of behavior (career-making, striving for independence, rejection of traditional family values). The heroine of the verse is a woman whose power consists in her weakness and dependence that lead the narrator to become her loyal guardian and supporter.
On the other hand, as opposed to “Thy fingers make early flowers”, the above specified poem has obviously logical structure, so that the narrator gradually unravels the vagueness of the image of his beloved. At first, she is portrayed at the certain distance from the narrator; further, he approaches the woman, looks into her eyes sees her opening herself “petal by petal” (Cummings, line 7). Whereas at the beginning of the poem, she appears to him as the Other so that he is surprised and amazed with her movements, smile and talent of filling his life with a new spring and delight, he further demonstrates deeper knowledge of her character: “something in me understands the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses” (Cummings, lines 18-19).
The distinctive aspect of Cummings’s belief in love is his idea that sexual closeness has nothing in common with strong and stable feelings between the two lovers and should not be thus perceived as a logical continuation of emotional intimacy. His erotic poetry is sarcastic and to certain degree cruel, as it depicts a woman as a usable object, or a means. For instance, in “my girl’s tall with hard long eyes” (1925), the author uses the motif of consumption and portrays the hero’s girlfriend as a device with certain technical characteristics: “my girl’s tall with hard long eyes/ as she stands, with her long hard hands keeping/ silence on her dress, good for sleeping/is her long hard body filled with surprise” (Cummings, lines 1-4). According to Reefs, a large part of Cumming’s erotic poetry is aimed at denouncing prostitution and the monetization of love (Reefs, p.51). The given verse obviously expresses the author’s resentment with the fact that the pure feeling which is normally granted as a precious gift, can be now sold, purchased, controlled and imitated. First of also the poem is focused on describing the heroine, her appearance, movements and habits, whereas the main character, the “owner” of this young lady, is left in the shadow. The narrator seems to examine her like a strange insect or an alien from the other planet: “a hard long smile it sometimes makes/ gaily go clean through me tickling aches” (Cummings, lines 6-7); such close-up from the distance indicates that she belongs to a different social circle. The narrator does not bother to understand her thoughts, find out her dreams and emotions; moreover, he does not approach her for any purpose except for satisfying his sexual drives. The narrator definitely seeks to avoid attachment, so, considering her description, it is possible to assume that the heroine is a girlfriend for an hour, or a sex worker.
Existential themes in Cummings’s poetry
Philosophy of the self and self-actualization is one of the most important themes of Cummings’s poetry. Since his early years, the author had been trying to solve the dilemmas of living one day vs. delaying pleasure for the future, daily routines in the physical dimension vs. inner life and existential freedom vs. commitment to societal expectations. The poet also addresses such issues as life challenges, triumphs and failures and explores human behavior in such situations through his flexible language wrenched in new meanings and fragmented phrases. Avoiding excessive intellectualism and preferring simplicity and exactness, Cummings clearly states his notions of deriving pleasure from each experience and destroying internal barriers to the unbounded for-dimensional life composed of sensing, thinking, feeling and acting out.
One of the poems dedicated to the existential theme is “suppose” from & (1925). In the given verse, the author puts forth the idea that death is young, whereas life “is an old man carrying flowers on his head” (Cummings, line 2) and “always crying to nobody something about les roses les bluets” (Cummings, lines 13-15). Furthermore, death wonders whether Life will buy flowers for her; this phrase is emphasized through repetitions and composing one of the lines of the word “yes” (Cummings, line 16). To great extent, this verse reveals the author’s maximalism in his view on life, as the old man wearing velour trousers symbolizes the person, consumed by daily routines, domesticity and middle-class consumerist ideals. Life is depicted as a disappointed and anxious senior who puts flowers on his head in order to decorate himself and prove he is still attractive and admirable. From the Freudian perspective, human life is a sequence of frustrations, as social beings are consistently prevented from meeting their needs fully by the social pressure and social control, at the same time, they seek to console “the old man of their life” from time to time with the symbolic bunch of flowers, or rare pleasure (Webster, p.64). Death, at the same time, is not worn out to the extent to which Life is, given that the former is experienced only once. Individuals avoid facing death even mentally, and conversations about death are still perceived by the modern society as mauveton (Reef, p.42). Therefore, Cumming’s character of Death is young, as it serves as a representation of human experience with the phenomenon of passing away or leaving this world physically.
In “suppose”, the author also traces the existence of the memory associated with a dead person: “there is a lad, whose name is Afterwards/ she is sitting beside young death, is slender;/ likes flowers” (Cummings, lines 25-27). Importantly, both Death and Afterwards like flowers, which means that the traditional burial ceremony implies putting flowers on the grave of the deceased. Another social ritual, which is closer knit to Afterwards, is visiting graves with flowers, but due to the fact that the author provides no other information about the woman named Afterwards, one can conclude that the person Death means non-subsistence in all of its forms, as even those people believe they are visiting their nearest and dearest in the cemetery, actually bring flowers to Death and Afterwards, rather than to the dead person. The verse therefore might underlie the Cummings’s atheistic views.
In “into the strenuous briefness”, the author challenges the American dream and its ideals. Human life is a “strenuous briefness”, the quickly disappearing time. The protagonist of the poem is a man who seeks to taste each moment of his life: “I charge laughing/ Into the hair-thin tints/ of yellow dawn,/ into the women-colored twilight/ I smilingly glide. I/ into the big vermilion departure/ swim, sayingly” (Cummings, lines 1-8). He believes life is short and finite and thus enjoys all seasons and all times of the day, touching the eternity and getting new insights. However, the final stanza of the verse is much more down-to-earth: “ (Do you think?) the/ I do, world/ is probably made/ of roses & hello: (of solongs and, ashes)” (Cummings, lines 12-16). This symbolic “I do world” can be interpreted as a social network, to which the person is committed, especially family life. In this sense, he probably reflects upon the media images and abstractive beliefs concerning marriage as a relationship which requires no collaboration and effort of the partners and no work on strengthening and maintaining warmth and care. In the last five lines, the poet reminds that saying “I do” means taking responsibility and admitting that the person is not alone anymore and both members of the family union should show their flexibility and patience. This poem was written in year 1926 which belonged to the period of instability and accidental romances in Cummings’s life (Welch, p.31).
Whereas the two previous poems include the perspectives on universal philosophical issues, “If you can’t eat you got to” depicts human conformity and reconciliation to loss and deprivation with truly Christian humility. At first, the narrator suggests that he and his “kid” do eating, smoking and singing, but it turns out that they have nothing to eat, smoke and sing. As a result, the author repeats the following phrase: “come on kid/ let’s go to sleep” (Cummings, lines 3-4). Furthermore, the two heroes of the poem appear to have no substance to die and nothing to dream, so the only solution of this non-existence is sleeping. The poem obviously depicts a post-apocalyptic, almost Nietzschean, world, where the God is dead and which is inhabited by quasi-humans. Given their human memory, these creatures are still not able to adapt to the world where nothing is possible. In this poem, the author provides the inner photograph of the postwar world whose inhabitants are starting their lives from the zero point. Although they are trying to follow the time-honored principles and philosophies in their lives, these common sense paradigms do not work any longer, because of the advent of the new order in all spheres of human life. In the given poem, Cummings successfully records this state of uncertainty prolonged by hope and resignation that dictate the atmosphere of the work. In a more general content, “If you can’t eat you got to” shows a period of radical life changes, a sudden turn of the person’s life trajectory, which might be also manifested through the crises of maturation of ageing. As the characters of the poem are firm in their intention to find the activity that is objectively possible in their dimension, one can assume that the poet himself sympathizes with all the forlorn and shipwrecked and believes all crises and stagnations have their end (Webster, p.64).
Societal and professional themes in Cummings’s poetry
As it has been noted above, Cummings mercilessly revealed the vices of his contemporary society in the areas of politics and social policy. His satirical and bitter allegories reduce to absurd bureaucracy and attack war, blindness of political pride and the destruction n of human fates by the governmental machine. Addressing his reference group of artists and poets, Cummings also tried to define the position of his art and poetry as well as his contribution to the society’s well-being (Reef, p.79).
The question of poet’s destiny and place in society is discussed in “no man, if men are gods” that provides a comprehensive account of Cummings’s characterization of the poet. First of all, the author notes that poet is a god of human feelings who can change that world by conveying certain emotional messages: “no man, if men are gods; but if gods must / be men, the sometimes only man is this/ (most common, for each anguish is his grief;/ and, for his joy is more than joy, most rare)” (Cummings, lines 1-4). Thus poets are normally “lonely warriors” who can make a difference by asserting his position, communicating his emotions and serving as a role model of true adherence to and continuous happiness with his profession. Furthermore, the poet is intrinsically a giving person who puts his live on the altar of the lifelong mission of opening the eyes of the humanity. As the author employs the symbols of light and vision, one can assume that the archetypal poet is one of those innumerous people who tell the truth and enlighten others (Wilson, p.103). In addition, the poet is responsible for maintaining the heartbeat, or fulfilling emotional life of humankind: “who’ll solve the depths of horror to defend/ a sunbeam’s architecture with his life:/ and carve immortal jungles of despair/ to hold a mountain’s heartbeat in his hand” (Cummings, lines 11-14). In psychological terms, poets shape human emotional intelligence, as their verses motivate to re-evaluate beliefs and values and learn mercy, sympathy and forgiveness.
Due to the fact that Cummings combined two professions, poetry-writing and painting, it is possible to find the relationship between the activities. In particular, his poem “Picasso” from XLI (1925) explores the very nature of cubism in a poetic way: “Picasso/ you give us Things/ which/ bulge: grunting lungs pumped full of sharp thick mind” (Cummings, lines 1-4). Whereas a number of critics held cubism was artificial and synthetic direction which twisted natural forms, Cummings proves that creating artworks in this style is as natural as breathing, by describing a complicated mechanism that includes the lungs attached to and managed by the mind (Reef, p.51; Wilson, p.102). In this illustrative verse, Cummings also mentions several principles and characteristics of cubism which also apply to his poetry. First of all, the author suggests that cubist works accurately depicts the phenomenon, object or person and vagueness and overuse of secondary details are excluded in the world of perfect geometric shapes: “your brain’s/ axe only chops hugest inherent/ Trees of Ego,from/ whose living and biggest” (Cummings, lines 17-20). Therefore, a cubist artwork or poem can be viewed as a list of interrelated facts and ideas, followed by the evaluative judgment and representation of the author’s moral and ethical values. Another salient characteristic of cubism is the expressiveness of its works so that they even have a “voice” to articulate themselves: “between squeals of / Nothing grabbed with circular shrieking tightness/ solid screams whisper.)/ Luberman of The Distinct” (Cummings, lines 13-16). In this sense, the author suggests that cubist works are referred to as autonomous, as they seem to live their lives instead of serving as a channel through which the author communicates their worldview. Similarly, his poetry is characterized with self-sufficiency attributed to the major geometric forms.
In addition to his concerns about the purpose of art and poetry, the poet also could not stay apart from the problems of injustice and corruptness of the contemporary society. In particular, the verse entitled “when serpents bargain for the right to squirm” (1946), an Elizabethan sonnet, mocks bureaucracy and the society’s obsession with technological advancements and advertisements promoting the American dream which caused them to feel a need for unnecessary devices and activities. For the purpose of underlining the ridiculousness of his society in general and social institutions in particular, the author uses a powerful device known as allegory, which consists in comparing humans to beasts and animals: “when serpents bargain for the right to squirm/ and the sun strikes to gain a living wage – / when thorns regard their roses with alarm/ and rainbows are insured against old age […]” (Cummings, lines 1-4). On the one hand, the poem can be viewed as a criticism of the bureaucratic system, which forces citizens, figuratively speaking, to get a certificate that they need a certificate, register and receive thousands of permissions and collect folders of documents in order to gain the salary they deserve. As the author reduces bureaucratic situations to absurd by replacing human participants with animals and natural forces. The structural organization of power known as bureaucracy is also described as a force preventing individuals from involving into the activities they are literally created for, as it threatens the bird’s right to sing and the snake’s right to creep.
By employing animal characters, the author also seems to appeal to the natural drives and aspirations that can be found in a human being: “then we’ll believe in that incredible/ unanimal mankind (and not until)” (Cummings, lines 13-14). Thus, the poet infers that humans are essentially natural beings, confused and misled by the socially imposed technologies and ideals. In fact, as the person becomes increasingly more consumed by defending his/her right to fair compensation, registering his/her property, paying taxes, (s)he moves away from the fundamental idea of his/her calling or professional mission. Passively complying with social values, beliefs and expectations, the person therefore loses his/her freedom.
The theme of limited freedom and social control is also included into the poem “why must itself up every of a park” (1944) that depicts the political machine in action: “quote citizens unquote might otherwise/ forget (to err is human; to forgive/ divine)that if the quote state unquote says/ “kill” killing is an act of Christian love” (Cummings, lines 5-8). Thus, a citizens is portrayed in the given poem as a small screw and a part of the political or military plan, developed by the inhumane and corrupt government. In fact, the initial purpose of government is serving the needs of citizens for safety of life, health and property; given that Cummings depicts a diametrically opposite picture of the hierarchical relationship between the people and the government, one can assume that he puts forth the notion that the government has exhausted itself. It is also about to destroy itself by focusing exceptionally on military conflicts and its political ambition of making citizens kill out of love for the government. Considering the above specified purpose of the central administration, one can assume that love for the government is absurd, as it is barely possible to develop love for the instrument, notwithstanding the fact that it carries out the responsibilities of national significance.
It also needs to be noted that Cummings also raises the problem of sharing responsibility between the administration and the citizen: “can stand against the argument of mil/itary necessity”(generalissimo e)/ and echo answers “there is no appeal/ from reason” (Cummings, lines 10-13). The absence of resentment or moral suffering, associated with murders ordered by the government also points to the fact that by their nature, humans tend to deny the responsibility for performing the commands coming “from above”.
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The analysis of Cummings’s life and legacy suggests that his contribution to the world’s poetry consists not merely in stylistic innovations, but also in his unique perspective on the controversial issues of human life including love, interpersonal relationships, connections and loyalty to the government and the sense of human existence. The research of Cumming’s poems suggests that simplicity and naivety relate rather to the form and style of expression than to the underlying ideas which can be identified in his works.
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Shucard, A. , Moramarco, F. and Sullivan, W. Modern American poetry, 1865-1950. University of Massachusetts Press, 1980.
Webster, M. “Cummings, Kennedy, and the Major/Minor Issue”. Spring: The Journal of the E.E.Cummings Society, 4 (1995), pp.59-75.
Welch, M.D. “The Haiku Sensibilities of E.E.Cummings:. Spring: The Journal of the E.E.Cummings Society, 4 (1995), pp.24-47.
Wilson, E. “Wallace Stevens and E.E. Cummings”. New Republic, 49 (1962), pp.102-103.