E. E. Cummings: Complete Poems, 1904-1962 (Hardcover)
Presented here in a bold new edition, E. E. Cummings: Complete Poems 1904–1962 showcases Cummings’s transcendent body of work, collected in its entirety.
Combining Thoreau’s controlled belligerence with the brash abandon of an uninhibited bohemian, E. E. Cummings, together with Ezra Pound, T. S. Eliot, and William Carlos Williams, helped bring about the twentieth-century revolution in literary expression. Today Cummings is recognized as the author of some of the most sensuous lyric poems in the English language, as well as one of the most inventive American poets of his time. Formally fractured and yet gleefully alive and whole, at once cubistic and figurative, Cummings’s work expanded the boundaries of what language is and can do.
With a new introduction by Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Stephen Dunn, this redesigned, newly corrected, and fully reset edition of Complete Poems collects and presents all the poems published or designated for publication by E. E. Cummings in his lifetime. It includes 36 poems that were first collected in the 1991 edition and 164 unpublished poems issued in 1983 under the title Etcetera. It spans his earliest creations, his vivacious linguistic acrobatics, up through his last valedictory sonnets.
In the words of Randall Jarrell, “No one else has ever made avant-garde, experimental poems so attractive to the general and special reader.”
About the Author
E. E. Cummings (1894–1962) was among the most influential, widely read, and revered modernist poets. He was also a playwright, a painter, and a writer of prose. Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, he studied at Harvard University and, during World War I, served with an ambulance corps in France. He spent three months in a French detention camp and subsequently wrote The Enormous Room, a highly acclaimed criticism of World War I. After the war, Cummings returned to the States and published his first collection of poetry, Tulips & Chimneys, which was characterized by his innovative style: pushing the boundaries of language and form while discussing love, nature, and war with sensuousness and glee. He spent the rest of his life painting, writing poetry, and enjoying widespread popularity and success.
George J. Firmage edited many works by Cummings, including Erotic Poems; Complete Poems, 1904– 1962; and Fairy Tales.
Stephen Dunn is the author of nineteen poetry collections, including the Pulitzer Prize–winning Different Hours, and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the recipient of an Academy Award for Literature. His poems have appeared in The New Yorker, Atlantic, and American Poetry Review, among many other publications. A distinguished professor emeritus at Richard Stockton University, he lives in Frostburg, Maryland.
One of the greatest lyric poets in our language.
— John Logan
To return to…his poems is to return to a buoyancy and boisterousness, of course, but also to an odd bountifulness…[encapsulating] a profound sense of wonder and wistfulness.
— Paul Muldoon
Cummings was one of the most spirited and original American writers of the 20th century.
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