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Complete Poems 1904 To1962 [Hardcover]

E. E. Cummings
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 1 1994
Reissued in honor of cummings's centennial year, this inclusive anthology encompasses all of the poet's works published to date, with the typographical arrangement of the text conforming as close as possible to cummings's specific directions.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "what a gently welcoming darkestness" Dec 15 2001
ee cummings is a magnificent poet - almost as much of a visual artist as writer. His poems fall and flow and jump and dance, their patterns and punctuation adding so much more to the words and essence of meaning. I have tried reading cummings' work aloud: it never quite works. He has an exceptional turn of phrase, and with one line (give or take a pattern or two) can bring about powerful emotive responses.
This book is fantastic - I had quite a lot of difficulty finding collections of his poetry, and although I'd found a couple of small volumes, this one was exhaustive. I reread it - or at least parts thereof - more often than any other poetry book I own, and always seem to discover another nuance or aspect or pattern that I hadn't seen before. cummings wraps you in words, and the best way I can think of to describe how I feel after reading his works is to steal a quote from one of his poems - "such strangeness as was mine a little while."
Worldwords. And he is the creator of my favourite quotation of all time...
there's a hell of a good universe next door:
let's go."
And there is.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars life's not a paragraph July 7 2001
By "jb541"
My story begins with my high school English teacher assigning us to read "since feeling is first".
We studied that poem for an entire week. It's not a long poem, so we really dug our hands in, studying every piece of punctuation, every line break, and discovering things we didn't know could be discovered in writing. By the time we were through, I knew I couldn't stop. This is what poetry could be. I couldn't believe it. For a little while, I practiced writing my name in all lower-case. And while I knew I couldn't be cummings, I knew I still wanted to hang out with him and maybe be his friend.
To me, the whole point of e.e. cummings' works is to show how throwing logic and syntax out the window can help one rediscover how to truly capture an emotion -- and not just capture it, but to interrogate it and become either its best friend or its arch rival. There is not one word in any of cummings' works that does not have a reason to be there. His lack of cohesion is sometimes confusing. But at the same time, it charms you; and while you do feel the need to read and re-read each poem, you don't do it to analyze it - you do it because it elicits a different response each time you do. cummings hangs on just the right word, even the right letter in a word, and you know how you feel at that exact moment.
cummings looks not only at the definition of a word but the shape of the word to impact his meaning. This makes his style so intense and so pure that, in my mind, no other has come close to duplicating it.
cummings will never be the world's favorite poet, he will never be studied and understood and appreciated the way Yeats, Poe, Frost, Whitman, or any other of the "greats" will. Fine.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars not just anybody... July 21 2003
'anybody lived in a pretty how town
with up so floating many bells down'
The poetry of ee cummings is something that most Americans gain exposure to during secondary school (and very rarely in the education of those outside America) -- he is often seen as an acceptable example of one who broke the rules -- rules, the teacher will often hasten to add, which must be mastered before they can be acceptably broken.
Yet this is not what ee cummings would hope had come of his legacy. In reading his poetry in this edition, his prose, his theatrical writings, and his unpublished manuscripts (some of which have been published under the title Etc.), a new vision begins to emerge of a real maverick--not someone who wanted to break the rules, but someone who eschewed the idea of rules so completely that breaking them was beyond the question, for that would have to recognise the value of the rules.
And yet, some rules creep in:
'the Cambridge ladies who live in furnished souls
are unbeautiful and have comfortable minds
(also, with the church's protestant blessings
daughters, unscented shapeless spirited)'
This is a classic example of a cummings sonnet--adhering to rhyme and meter, yet very original.
Or, perhaps not that original. Unfortunately, ee cummings has become a conventional unconventionality. He was a success at being different--at one point only cummings and Frost, New Englanders both, with very different vines growing on the respective sides of their fence, were able to make a living solely from their writing while concentrating on poetry.
This text contains the entirety of the 12 published volumes of poetry cummings produced in his lifetime.
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4.0 out of 5 stars it's always ourselves we find in the enormous room April 24 2001
Though i would automatically attribute 5 stars to Mr. Cummings collection of the most beautiful words collaborated onto paper in one grouping, i find that the editor in this particular volume lacked the sensibility to categorize Cummings' poetry according to both first *and* last lines, understanding that it is within the last lines that Cummings packs the most emotional weight in his "story telling" verse: "you are my sun, my moon and all my stars," "it's always ourselves we find in the sea," "not even the rain, has such small hands," "brought all of her to a dead stand Still" (among others).
It is nice to see his progression of publishing (though the order is not according to when the pieces were written and it seems to me the editor took the easiest way out on this one by ordering it according to each book). While the sections into which Kennedy (see reference in an above review) sorted these fine works was comfortable for those who wanted ease of theme, it would have been a rather magnanamous task for his vast array of published poetry. While often simplistic, the topics of Cummings' concepts can get too complex to fit into neatly fitted packages tied with the bows of universal theme. And while Kennedy was my introduction to more of this man's great work and i grew to love Cummings through him, i found myself liking works that weren't included in Kennedy's collection, and disliking his more experimental works that lacked the emotional punch (and those linguists might feel the contrary). It is cheaper, in the long run, to buy this collection than to collect the many individual publications to get all one's favorites.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Canonical Cummings Compendium
I have a few E.E. Cummings books of poetry, but quickly despaired of every finding them all. This collection is a terrific resource for someone who simply wishes to have all the... Read more
Published on March 30 2001 by Christopher Wanko
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful words
e.e. cummings is a master of the English language. The way he uses words to paint a picture will leave you breathless and touch your heart. Read more
Published on April 25 2000 by Julie Lovisa
5.0 out of 5 stars An off-the-beaten-path poet
Along with being a poet, cummings was a visual artist-chiefly a painter and sometimes an engraver. With his poetry, he made the attempt to arrange the words of his poems in... Read more
Published on March 28 2000 by Shmoo Stone
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
This is an excellent collection of ee's work. A must have for any student or teacher of poetry, for any poet or anyone who loves poetry
Published on Feb. 29 2000 by Ricardo R. Sciacca, Jr.
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing
i first heard of e.e. cummings last year at a poetry conference. someone had written this profound poem and told me that his main influence was e.e. Read more
Published on Nov. 20 1999 by Jenny Wells
5.0 out of 5 stars Marvellous.
e.e. cummings' poems: "somewhere i have never travelled" and " l ( a " stand as the best pieces of poetry ever written. Read more
Published on Jan. 2 1999 by infringer13@hotmail.com
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the most inspiring book of all time.
E.E. Cummings is surely the greatest poet of all time. He expresses his poetry in such a way to make a reader cry out in the joy of such sweet musical words
Published on Nov. 24 1998
4.0 out of 5 stars Extensive collection, little connecting works though
The compilation of all the works was extensive and covered every area to my knowledge. There was no cramming of poems, the spacing and overall presentation of individual prose was... Read more
Published on June 22 1998
4.0 out of 5 stars a great collection of amazing poetry
This book, a collection of all of E.E. Cummings' poetry is a beautiful composition.. There are many poems on the obscure side, and many on the traditional side... Read more
Published on Dec 7 1997
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