E.E. Cummings quotes

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E.E. Cummings

Birthdate: 14. October 1894
Date of death: 3. September 1962

Edward Estlin "E. E." Cummings , often styled as e e cummings, as he sometimes signed his name, 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 remembered as an eminent voice of 20th century English-language literature.

Works

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E.E. Cummings
Him
E.E. Cummings
Tulips and Chimneys
Tulips and Chimneys
E.E. Cummings
EIMI
E.E. Cummings
The Enormous Room
The Enormous Room
E.E. Cummings

„as small as a world and as large as alone
For whatever we lose(like a you or a me)
it’s always ourselves we find in the sea“

—  E.E. Cummings

Variant: For whatever we lose (like a you or a me),
It's always our self we find in the sea.
Source: 100 Selected Poems

„To be 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.“

—  E.E. Cummings

A Poet's Advice (1958)
Context: Almost 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.
To be 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.

„The sensical law of this world is might makes right; the nonsensical law of our heroine is love conquers all.“

—  E.E. Cummings

A Foreword to Krazy (1946)
Context: This hero and villain no more understand Krazy Kat than the mythical denizens of a two dimensional realm understand some three dimensional intruder. The world of Offissa Pupp and Ignatz Mouse is a knowledgeable power-world, in terms of which our unknowledgeable heroine is powerlessness personified. The sensical law of this world is might makes right; the nonsensical law of our heroine is love conquers all. To put the oak in the acorn: Ignatz Mouse and Offissa Pupp (each completely convinced that his own particular brand of might makes right) are simple-minded—Krazy isn't—therefore, to Offissa Pupp and Ignatz Mouse, Krazy is. But if both our hero and our villain don't and can't understand our heroine, each of them can and each of them does misunderstand her differently. To our softhearted altruist, she is the adorably helpless incarnation of saintliness. To our hardhearted egoist, she is the puzzlingly indestructible embodiment of idiocy. The benevolent overdog sees her as an inspired weakling. The malevolent undermouse views her as a born target. Meanwhile Krazy Kat, through this double misunderstanding, fulfills her joyous destiny.

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„As small as a world as large as alone.“

—  E.E. Cummings

"maggie and milly and molly and may" in Complete Poems: 1904-1962
Variant: may came home with a smooth round stone
as small as a world and as large as alone.
Context: milly befriended a stranded star
whose rays five languid fingers were;and molly was chased by a horrible thing
which raced sideways while blowing bubbles:and may came home with a smooth round stone
as small as a world and as large as alone for whatever we lose (like a you or a me)
it's always ourselves we find in the sea

„my advice to all young people who wish to become poets is: do something easy, like learning how to blow up the world“

—  E.E. Cummings

unless you're not only willing, but glad, to feel and work and fight till you die.
Does this sound dismal? It isn't.
It's the most wonderful life on earth.
Or so I feel.
E. E. Cummings
A Poet's Advice (1958)

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