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Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
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About the Poets
Additional Reading
e.e. cummings

Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Edward Estlin Cummings attended Harvard (B.A., 1915; M.A., 1916), served as a volunteer ambulance driver in France during World War I, was imprisoned for three months in a French detention camp, served in the United States Army (1918-1919), then studied art and painting in Paris (1920-1924).

His prose narrative The Enormous Room (1922), a recollection of his imprisonment, brought instant acclaim. Several volumes of poetry followed. His experiments with punctuation, line division, and capitalization make his work immediately recognizable. In a letter to young poets published in a high school newspaper, Cummings said, "[N]othing is quite so easy as using words like somebody else. We all of us do exactly this nearly all the time, and whenever we do it, we're not poets."

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e.e. cummings     

in spite of everything 
which breathes and moves, since Doom 
(with white longest hands 
neatening each crease) 
will smooth entirely our minds 

-before leaving my room 
i turn,and (stooping 
through the morning) kiss 
this pillow,dear 
where our heads lived and were. 

[i carry your heart with me(i carry it in]

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in 
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere 
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done 
by only me is your doing,my darling) 
                            i fear 
not fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want 
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true) 
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant 
and whatever a sun will always sing is you 

here is the deepest secret nobody knows 
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud 
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows 
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide) 
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart 

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

stand with your lover on the ending earth

stand with your lover on the ending earth-

and while a(huge which by which huger than
huge)whoing sea leaps to greenly hurl snow  

suppose we could not love,dear;imagine

ourselves like living neither nor dead these
(or many thousand hearts which don't and dream
or many million minds which sleep and move)
blind sands,at pitiless the mercy of

time time time time time

-how fortunate are you and i,whose home
is timelessness:we who have wandered down
from fragrant mountains of eternal now  

to frolic in such mysteries as birth 
and death a day(or maybe even less)