since feeling is first
who pays any attention
to the syntax of things
will never wholly kiss you;
wholly to be a fool
while Spring is in the world
my blood approves,
and kisses are better fate
lady i swear by all flowers. Don't cry
—the best gesture of my brain is less than
your eyelids' flutter which says
we are for each other: then
laugh, leaning back in my arms
for life's not a paragraph
And death i think is no parenthesis
He was born Edward Estlin Cummings in Cambridge, Massachusetts (1894), who penned nearly 3,000 poems, a couple of autobiographical novels, and several essays and plays.
He majored in classics at Harvard, gave a controversial graduation speech on modern art, worked for a mail-order bookseller, got bored, and volunteered along with his college writer friend John Dos Passos for an ambulance corps serving in France during World War I. It was in 1917, and partly to entertain himself and see what the censors would do, he wrote provocative letters espousing anti-war views and professing not to hate those enemy Germans. The French censors intercepted the letters and put him in a military detention camp on suspicion of espionage.
He got out of jail because his dad was well-connected, and came home a few months later, just in time for Christmas that year. He was promptly drafted into the U.S. Army and sent to infantry training camp. About five years later, in 1922, he published The Enormous Room, an autobiographical novel in which he made fun of the prison guards and sympathized with his fellow inmates at the camp. One biographer noted: "Cummings' account of his imprisonment was oddly cheerful in tone and freewheeling in style. He depicted his internment camp stay as a period of inner growth." He was only 28 years old when the book was published, and the book made him famous.
He published a few volumes of poetry and took a job as a traveling correspondent for Vanity Fair magazine. In the afternoons he painted and in the evenings he wrote, a routine he kept up for the rest of his life.