Terebess Asia Online (TAO)


E. E. Cummings (1894-1962)

Harvard Monthly. Cambridge, April 1916.

I care not greatly
Should the world remember me
In some tomorrow.

There is a journey,
And who is for the long road
Loves not to linger.

For him the night calls,
Out of the dawn and sunset
Who has made poems.


Edward Estlin Cummings, poet, playwright, novelist, and painter, was born October 14, 1894, in Cambridge, Mass., and received his A.B. and M.A. from Harvard University in 1915 and 1916. He volunteered as a driver with the Norton-Harjes Ambulance Service in France in 1917 but was arrested on suspicion of treason and interned for some months. After his release, he served U.S. Army as a private in 1918-19. His autobiographical story of his time in the internment camp, The Enormous Room, published in 1922, received widespread praise. His first book of poetry, Tulips & Chimneys (1923), showed an unusual style that was not to change for 40 years. He married Elaine Orr Thayer, March 19, 1924, and they had one child, Nancy. After their divorce in 1925, he married Anne Minnerly Barton, May 1, 1929, but they divorced in 1932. Two years later he entered into a common law marriage with Marion Morehouse. A member of the National Academy of Arts and Letters, Cummings received many honours: the Dial award in 1925, Guggenheim fellowships in 1933 and 1951, an Academy of American Poets fellowship in 1950, the Harriet Monroe Poetry Award in 1950, and the Bollingen Prize in Poetry in 1958. Though as eccentric in prose as in verse, Cummings became Charles Eliot Norton Professor of Poetry, Harvard University, in 1952-53. Exhibitions of his paintings were held at the American British Art Centre in 1949, and Rochester Memorial Gallery in 1959. He died September 3, 1962, in North Conway, New Hampshire, and is buried in Forest Hills Cemetery, Boston.