Who is E.E. Cummings
E.E. Cummings was an innovative poet known for his lack of stylistic and structural conformity, as seen in volumes like Tulips and Chimneys and XLI Poems. After self-publishing for much of his career, he eventually found wide recognition. A playwright and visual artist as well, Cummings died on September 3, 1962.
Edward Estlin Cummings was born on October 14, 1894, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. His father was a minister and professor, while his mother instilled in the youngster a love of language and play. Cummings went on to earn both his B.A. and his M.A. by 1916 from Harvard University, where his father taught, before going on to serve in World War I overseas as a volunteer for the ambulance corps.
EE Cummings Quotes
1. It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.
2. To be nobody but
yourself in a world
which is doing its best day and night to make you like
everybody else means to fight the hardest battle
which any human being can fight and never stop fighting.
3. Unbeing dead isn’t being alive.
4. For whatever we lose (like a you or a me),
It’s always our self we find in the sea.
5. Trust your heart if the seas catch fire, live by love though the stars walk backward.
6. We do not believe in ourselves until someone reveals that deep inside us something is valuable, worth listening to, worthy of our trust, sacred to our touch. Once we believe in ourselves we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight or any experience that reveals the human spirit.
7. Whenever you think or you believe or you know, you’re a lot of other people: but the moment you feel, you’re nobody-but-yourself.
8. I will take the sun in my mouth
and leap into the ripe air
with closed eyes
to dash against darkness
9. Yours is the light by which my spirit’s born: – you are my sun, my moon, and all my stars.
10. Lovers alone wear sunlight.
11. and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
12. Unless you love someone, nothing else makes sense.
13. I’d rather learn from one bird how to sing
than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance
14. 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.
15. The snow doesn’t give a soft white damn whom it touches.
16. The three saddest things are the ill wanting to be well, the poor wanting to be rich, and the constant traveler saying ‘anywhere but here’.
17. Love is the voice under all silences, the hope which has no opposite in fear; the strength so strong mere force is feebleness: the truth more first than sun, more last than star
18. May came home with a smooth round stone
as small as a world and as large as alone.
19. Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit
20. The world is mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful.
21. I like my body when it is with your body. It is so quite new a thing. Muscles better and nerves more.
22. One’s not half of two; two are halves of one.
23. She may be going to Hell, of course, but at least she isn’t standing still
24. Anybody can learn to think, or believe, or know, but not a single human being can be taught to feel… the moment you feel, you’re nobody ― but-yourself ― in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else ― means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight, and never stop fighting.
25. And now you are and I am and we’re a mystery which will never happen again.
26. A wind has blown the rain away & the sky away & all the leaves away, & the trees stand. i think i, too, have known autumn too long.
27. Kisses are a better fate than wisdom.
28. I love you much
most beautiful darling
more than anyone on the earth
and I like you better
than everything in the sky.
29. 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
30. Humanity I love you because when you’re hard up you pawn your intelligence to buy a drink.
31. Remember one thing only: that it’s you-nobody else-who determines your destiny and decides your fate. Nobody else can be alive for you; nor can you be alive for anybody else.
32. We can never be born enough.
33. Your head is a living forest full of songbirds.
34. May I be I is the only prayer–not may I be great or good or beautiful or wise or strong.
35. You are whatever a moon has always meant and whatever a sun will always sing.
36. And this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
I carry your heart [ i carry it in my heart ]
37. Laughing is just another way of showing people your wise
38. And the coolness of your smile is
stirringofbirds between my arms
39. I will take the sun in my mouth and leap into the ripe air.
40. A bouquet of clumsy words: you know that place between sleep and awake where you’re still dreaming but it’s slowly slipping? I wish we could feel like that more often. I also wish I could click my fingers three times and be transported to anywhere I like. I wish that people didn’t always say ‘just wondering’ when you both know there was a real reason behind them asking. And I wish I could get lost in the stars.
Listen, there’s a hell of a good universe next door, let’s go.
41. That which we die for lives as wholly as that which we live for dies.
42. Your homecoming will be my homecoming
43. 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. I fear no fate…for you are my fate, I want no world cause you are my world. Here is the deepest secret no one knows. Here is the root of root and bud of bud & the sky of the sky of the tree of life. Which grows higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide. It’s the wonder that keeps the stars apart.
44. If a poet is anybody, he is somebody to whom things made matter very little – somebody who is obsessed by Making.
45. Always it’s Spring)and everyone’s in love and flowers pick themselves.
46. Somewhere i have never traveled, gladly beyond any experience, your eyes have their silence; in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me, or which i cannot touch because they are too near
47. Down with hell and heaven and all the religious fuss
infinity pleased our parents
one inch looks good to us
48. If 180 million people want to be undead, that’s their funeral, but I happen to like being alive.
49. Nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility
50. Damn everything but the circus! …damn everything that is grim, dull, motionless, unrisking, inward turning, damn everything that won’t get into the circle, that won’t enjoy. That won’t throw it’s heart into the tension, surprise, fear and delight of the circus, the round world, the full existence.
51. Here’s to opening and upward…
and to yourself and up with you and up with and up with laughing.
52. Damn everything but the circus!. . .The average ‘painter’ ‘sculptor’ ‘poet’ ‘composer’ ‘playwright’ is a person who cannot leap through a hoop from the back of a galloping horse, make people laugh with a clown’s mouth, orchestrate twenty lions.
53. Someone asked me what home was, and all I could think of were the stars on the tip of your tongue, the flowers sprouting from your mouth, the roots entwined in the gaps between your fingers, the ocean echoing inside of your rib cage.
54. An intelligent person fights for lost causes, realizing that others are merely effects
55. The Symbol of all Art is the Prism. The goal is destructive. To break up the white light of objective realism into the secret glories it contains.
56. Like the burlesque comedian, I am abnormally fond of that precision which creates movement.
57. The poems to come are for you and for me and are not for mostpeople… you and i are human beings; mostpeople are snobs.
58. Listen; there’s a hell of a good universe next door: let’s go.
59. 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 the 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).
60. Because you aren’t afraid to kiss the dirt (and consequently dare to climb the sky)