“An American Original”-Sawyer-Laucanno on e.e. Cummings

“Even when Cummings falters, he is still interesting, worth reading, and always has something to say. But perhaps, most important, his voice is always his own: genuine, unique, and resonant.”-Christopher Sawyer-Laucanno, author of E.E. Cummings: A Biography, Review by Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post, 10-17-04

e.e. Cummings was born today in Massachusetts in 1884.

e.e. cummings always wrote poetry it seems; he wrote a poem per day between the ages of 8 and 22!

In a 1959 essay reprinted in his collection Babel to Byzantium, James Dickey proclaimed: “I think that Cummings is a daringly original poet, with more vitality and more sheer, uncompromising talent than any other living American writer.” The Poetry Foundation site

Here is one of my favorite e.e. cummings poems:

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

By E. E. Cummings


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

no 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)





















5 thoughts on ““An American Original”-Sawyer-Laucanno on e.e. Cummings

  1. Thank you for this wonderful poem Ilene, the last stanza spirals upwards into a beautiful bliss that was unexpected. He is now on my very long list of poets that I need to read. Many thanks.

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