Edgar Estlin Cummings Essay example

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Edgar Estlin Cummings

The life of Edgar Estlin Cummings starts on October 14, 1894 with his birth to Edward and Rebecca Haswell Clarke Cummings. At the age of sixteen he enters Harvard College, and begins to write poetry for Harvard Monthly. After Harvard, he joins Ambulance Corps, and sails to France to participate in World War I. Soon after his arrival he gets arrested and imprisoned for three months in a French detention camp on suspicion of disloyalty1. On New Years Day he is released, and soon after that he returns to New York and meets Elaine Orr, whom he marries later. Despite a birth of a daughter, Nancy, the marriage ends in divorce. During the Twenties, Cummings becomes more interested in art, and travels few times
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His poetry turns into “a living anthem of a self.” 4 However, his family life becomes totally disordered. He marries Marion Morehouse before he gets a divorce from Anne Barton, his previous wife. It causes his poetry to become more “private-oriented” and complicated for a reader to comprehend. Meanwhile, the idea of uniqueness of an individual lives through his works. Technically, individuality is at the core of Cummings’ experiments with word coinings, innovations with typography, and punctuation that make Cummings’ literature, especially his poetry look and sound different 5. His extraordinary style of writing, which represents his individuality, is clearly present at “Buffalo Bill’s” and “from spiraling ecstatically this.” To understand his poetry on a deeper level it may be necessary to review each technique separately, plus look at the emotions that appear inside a reader as the poem is read. Very often in his poetry Cummings uses line breaks to emphasize a line or an episode, which is usually a central idea of a poem. Separated lines in the poem “from spiraling ecstatically this” create in reader the sense of change and mystery, along with the sense of creation 6. If a reader reads only separated lines, a picture of the most wonderful creation appears – the birth of a baby. In “Buffalo Bill’s” the break is created to make reader to imagine the silence after the audience sees Bill Cody hit all the plastic pigeons he used as

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