The Artist Behind the Poetry By: Joshua Hinson E. E. Cummings
Cummings poetry is best known for unconventional use of capitalization and punctuation. The visual arrangements of his poetry is also sometimes unusual. His poetic form ranges anywhere from traditional to terse form. His technique…
Cummings was said to be particularly concerned with the visual elements of his poems. Him also being an artist lead to his fascination with the visual effect of his poetry. His vision…
He said of himself, “…I am abnormally fond of the precision which creates movement.”
Cummings was a visionary who saw every opportunity as a chance to try something new. Whether it be lack of punctuation or mixed lower and upper-case letters.
A studier of E. E. Cummings’ poetry, Rushworth M. Kidder, feels that there is a method to reading his poetry. He has developed seven steps to help readers better understand what Cummings is saying in between his words. Reading his poetry…
Seven steps…. 1. Treat each stanza as its’ own separate unit. 2. Insert punctuation and capitalization where it best fits. 3. Add words in order to complete the main thought. 4. Rearrange the words. 5. Connect the fragments line to line. 6. Take special consideration with parenthesis found within the poem. 7. Pay close attention to the context of the poem.
!blac k agains t (whi) te sky ? t reeswhic h fr om droppe d , le af a:;go e s wh IrlI n .g
When reading “!blac”, by adding in some punctuation as well as removing some the poem is much easier to read. Also, the addition and rearranging of words help to better understand the poem. By doing these things the poem reads much smoother.
Black against white sky? Trees, which from a dropped leaf goes whirling. By making those small changes, the poem makes a lot more sense. The poem now reads…
when god decided to invent everything he took one breath bigger than a circustent and everything began when man decided to destroy himself he picked the was of shall and finding only why smashed it into because
With this particular poem, it is necessary to piece the poem together line by line. Also, adding proper punctuation and capitalization helps the poem to flow correctly.
When God decided to invent everything, he took one breath, bigger than a circus tent and everything began. When man decided to destroy himself, he picked the was of shall, and finding only why, smashed it into because. The poem now reads…
According to a gentleman named Gary Lane who has studied Cummings poetry, states what the final stanza of the poem really means. He says that the self-destruction of man is accomplished by the need to explain rather than experience. Finding only questions, man angrily smashed them into the “because”, the answer that he craves.
E. E. Cummings poetry is of such great mystery and intrigue. One cannot simply read straight through his poetry and know the whole touch. Cummings is a poet who deserves a much closer look into his work. The finishing touches…