What I’m Still Reading: Collected Poems (1938) by e. e. cummings

I have been reading this early Collected Poems for some time now since reading a short biography and in a pretty cool edition, a hardcover from around the 1950s or so. About two thirds through, I have a better feel and more respect for the ticklish delight and breezy whimsy of this delicate everyman, yet poet’s poet, known as e. e. cummings.

This morning, I finished poem “189,” which ends his fourth book. At some point I’ll dip into his 1931 fifth, “W.” He just finished the fourth book with a sonnet (#189). In fact, his first four books all end with sonnets. What a ‘cat serious’ and yummy way for a poet playful and romantic as cummings to end with an experimental take on the formal and argumentative Shakespearean sonnet. Of course, each has his still unique twist.

cummings is without doubt a poet of love and sexuality. He’s a poet of a sideways glance. He’s a NYC poet too, a cosmopolitan with down to earth habits. He’s got hands in his pockets and stars in his eyes.


G. H. Mosson