At the time of his death in 1962 E.E. Cummings was, next to Robert Frost, the most widely read poet in America. Combining Thoreau's controlled belligerence with the brash abandon of an uninhibited Bohemian, Cummings, together with Pound, Eliot, and William Carlos Williams, helped bring about the twentieth-century revolution in literary expression. He is recognized on the one hand as the author of some of the most beautiful lyric poems written in the English language, and on the other as one of the most inventive American poets of his time.
This is the first selection from the poems of E.E. Cummings to be published since 1959, three years before his death. The one hundred and fifty-six poems selected by Richard S. Kennedy, Cummings's biographer (Dreams in the Mirror), are arranged in twelve sections, with introductions by Kennedy for each section. Also included are thirteen drawings, oils, and watercolors by Cummings, most of them never before published. The selection includes most of the favorites plus many fresh and surprising examples of Cummings's several poetic styles.