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cummings poem

e. e. cummings: Nobody, Not Even The Rain, Has Such Small Hands


One of the most original 20th century poets a great rebel of style, cummings wrote some 2,900 poems.

One evening I sat beauty on my knees. And I found her bitter. And I injured her.

Arthur Rimbaud

Beauty is deeply disturbing: we are allowed to touch divinity and at the same time it is capable of losing us in a great mirage. One of the most evident characteristics of the poetry of e. e. cummings is precisely that he faced and celebrated, with particular courage, the beauty of the world.

Edward Estlin Cummings knew from childhood that he wanted to be a poet, and between the ages of eight and 22, he wrote a poem every day. When the time came to fight in World War I, he chose to be an ambulance driver in France (he did not want to be on the front), a place that would influence his language and his work, and where he could return constantly during his lifetime.

Cummings’ poetry (he wrote his name indistinctly in capital and small letters throughout his lifetime) is profoundly visual, a sister to acrostics and calligrams, and touched by Dadaism and surrealism. It is also possible to find syntactic forms of the blues in his verses.

A unique artist, he was the creator of his own syntax and grammar, a unique language. He often made up words and frequently used lower case letters where capital letters should be used. His poems are precise, short but only apparently simple. Using simplicity to express the complex is perhaps one of the most difficult challenges an artist can face, as it implies only leaving the essence, the key words, and which flood his work like constellations.

The author of two novels, four plays and several essays, for cummings, poetry was a process (of realizing, or noting beauty), and never a product. The majority of his lyrical pieces, full of natural motifs, always make a special place for the sound of words as a way of lightening, rousing or even creating meanings. His poems are an honest enjoyment of the world. Knowledge and feelings find an unusual and organic balance.

Cummings was a profoundly intellectual poet and at the same time overflowing with emotion. Without a doubt he created very personalized languages and was able to express a new way of looking at the world through words as if they were lenses. He was the owner and guardian of a childlike view – light and always fresh – but above all beauty never overwhelmed him and he always derided fear with a charming elegance.

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“I thank you God for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes.”


“I’d rather learn from one bird how to sing than to teach ten thousand stars how not to dance.”


“I like my body when it is with your body. It is so quite new a thing. Muscles better and nerves more.”


“I imagine that yes is the only living thing.”


“For whatever we lose (like a you or a me),

It’s always ourselves we find in the sea.”


“Lovers alone wear sunlight.”


“since feeling is first

who pays any attention

to the syntax of things

will never wholly kiss you…”


“The snow doesn’t give a soft white damn whom it touches.”


“may came home with a smooth round stone

as small as a world and as large as alone.”


“most people are perfectly afraid of silence”


“(i do not know what it is about you that closes

and opens; only something in me understands

the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)

nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands”

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