The one hundred and fifty-six poems here, arranged in twelve sections and introduced by E. E. Cummings’s biographer, include his most popular poems, spanning his earliest creations, his vivacious linguistic acrobatics, up to his last valedictory sonnets. Also featured are thirteen drawings, oils, and watercolors by Cummings, most of them never before published.
The selection includes most of the favorites plus many fresh and surprising examples of Cummings’s several poetic styles. The corrected texts established by George J. Firmage have been used throughout. (From Goodreads)
Personal Take: I’ve read bits and pieces of E.E. Cummings work, and noted the interesting stylings he applies, but never read his work as a collection. I think this may have been the hardest book I’ve ever read. While it helped that there were interluding breaks throughout the book outlining the themes of his poetry, and his experimentation with poetry and prose, a few of his pieces sometimes felt they were beyond my comprehension. It’s absolutely astounding to see how he manipulated words with visual intention in mind– and he was truly a genius for breaking the rules. His later works were my favorite though, as it were the ones that were truly in touch with his thoughts, and it’s something I found myself relating to.
E.E. Cummings is a must read poet, if only just to experience his intoned words.
Audience: Cummings explores sexuality and sexual freedom in his poetry (and much of it is objectifying the female body…), so that warrants adult readers.
Other recommendations: There are plenty of E.E. Cummings poetry collection and books published, so be sure to check them out and take your pick!