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Personal Choice 37

e e cummings

[Buffalo Bill 's]

Buffalo Bill ’s


who used to

ride a watersmooth-silver


and break onetwothreefourfivepigeonsjustlikethat


he was a handsome man

and what i want to know is

how do you like your blue-eyed boy

Mister Death

e e cummings

Edward Estlin Cummings (1894 - 1962), often written in all lowercase as e e cummings, was an American poet, painter, essayist, author, and playwright. He wrote approximately 2,900 poems, two autobiographical novels, four plays, and several essays. He is often regarded as one of the most important American poets of the 20th century. Cummings is associated with modernist free-form poetry. Much of his work has idiosyncratic syntax and uses lower-case spellings for poetic expression.

Poetry as distinct from prose is an arrangement of words on a page. It is both aural and visual. In other words, we see it and hear it differently from any other genres of writing. Cummings was an essential ‘tipping point’ for extending and experimenting with both lowercase, spacing and lack of punctuation. And this is one of his very best.


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