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Edward Estlin Cummings

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Edward Estlin Cummings was born in the year 1984 in Cambridge Massachusetts. Cumming began writing poems at an early age of ten years. He studies Greek and Latin at the Cambridge Latin School during his early study life. In the year 1915, he received his B.A. and went ahead to receive his M.A. both from Harvard. During his studies, he was introduced to avant garde writers such as Gertrude Stein and Ezra Pound.

In the year 1917, Cummings made the first publish of a selection of poems contained in the anthology ‘Eight Harvard Poems’. During this period, the world war was in progress and Cummings left the United States for France as a volunteer driver in the medical profession. Cummings was however detained in France together with a friend on suspicion of espionage. The experience in detention is recounted in his book The Enormous Room.

After the war, Cummings settled in rural Connecticut and still frequenting Greenwich Village where his other house was located. “Cummings also made frequent visits to Paris” (Maitre, 2004). His travels around Europe gave him a chance to meet various established poets and artists particularly Pablo Picasso whose work had received significant admiration from him.

Cummings debut to a wider America audience same as a result of the publishing of ‘Buffalo Bills’ which was among a collection of seven poems published by Dial. In the course of his work, Cummings abandoned traditional techniques and structures with regards to poetic expressions preferring to adopt a form, punctuation, spelling and syntax strategy. However, according to Singh, Cummings was criticized of over relying on his signature style and not accommodating further evolution in his work (Singh, 2000). Despite this, Cummings received worldwide acknowledgement and popularity particularly among the young readers who found his work intriguing in terms of simplicity, playful and attention to subjects such as war and sex.

Cummings received a number of honors such as the American Poets Fellowship, two Guggeinheim Fellowships, the Ford Foundation grant, the Bollingen Prize in Poetry and the Academy of American Poets Fellowship. Cumming died on 3rd September 1962 and was buried in Forest Hills Cemetery in Boston, Massachusetts. At the time of his death; he was the second most widely read poet in the United States.

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