April is National Poetry Month!
Edward Estlin Cummins did not, from what I’ve read, actually write his name as ‘e.e. cummings.’ Someone else thought a man who wrote poetry like he did would, and it spread from there.
The first time I read “r-p-o-p-h-e-s-s-a-g-r” I was confused. It took me a few tries to piece it together, and I wasn’t sure I liked it. The more I read of his work, though, the more the poetry won me over.
His style is marked by a use of punctuation marks that’s unusual, to say the least. He also plays with capitalization and word choice.
Not all his pieces are mind-numbingly challenging–many are in fact, straightforward and/or short. Many people are familiar with “i carry your heart with me” or “anyone lived in a pretty how town.” And he’s written about pretty much every topic under the sun–poems about love, death, lust, life, war.
His complete works make quite an impressive book, which (having been gotten it as a gift) I love to page through. Like any good poetry, you’re better off absorbing a little at a time.
“life’s not a paragraph/ And death i think is no parenthesis” – from “since feeling is first” by E.E. Cummings