Read Is 5 by E.E. Cummings Free Online
Book Title: Is 5|
The author of the book: E.E. Cummings
Date of issue: August 17th 1996
ISBN 13: 9780871401649
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 633 KB
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Reader ratings: 5.2
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is 5 is an early collection of poems by E. E. Cummings (his fifth, if I'm not mistaken). The title, however, is not derived from this being his fifth collection, but rather from Cummings's approach to writing poetry, as Cummings explains in the Foreword...
Ineluctable preoccupation with The Verb gives a poet one priceless advantage: whereas nonmakers must content themselves with the merely undeniable fact that two time two is four, he rejoices in a purely irresistible truth (to be found, in abbreviated costume, upon the title page of the present volume.)
is 5 is a continuation of the poet's exploration of love and the triumph of the individual over conformity and complacency...
you being in love
will tell who softly asks in love,
am i separated from your body smile brain hands merely
to become the jumping puppets of a dream? oh i mean:
entirely having in my careful how
careful arms created this at length
inexcusable, this inexplicable pleasure - you go from several
persons: believe me that strangers arrive
when i have kissed you into a memory
slowly, oh seriously
- that since and if you disappear
ask "life, the question how do i drink dream smile
and how do i prefer this face to another and
why do i weep eat sleep - what does the whole intend"
they wonder. oh and they cry "to be,being,that i am alive
this absurd fraction in its lowest terms
with everything cancelled
- what does it all come down to? love? Love
if you like and i like, for the reason that i
hate people and lean out of this window is love,love
and the reason that i laugh and breathe is oh love and the reason
that i do not fall into this street is love."
- FOUR, XII (pg. 101)
My favourite poems share one characteristic: they have been fragmented and must be re-assembled like a puzzle. Although there weren't many of those in this particular collection (much to my disappointment)...
- ONE, XXXVI (pg. 48)
odd what pops into
your jolly tete when the
jolly shells begin dropping jolly fast you
hear the rrmp and
- i say
that's jolly odd
old thing, jolly
jolly odd isn't
it jolly odd.
- TWO, IV (pg. 63)
morning sure lyHer eye s exactly sit,ata little roundtable
among otherlittle roundtables Her,eyes count slow(ly
obstre poroustimidi ties surElyfl)oat iNg,the
of pieces ofof sunligh tof fa l l in gof throughof treesOf.
the like,a)slEEping neck a breathing a ,lies
(slo wlythe wom an pa)ris her
in little streets
while exactlygir lisHlegs;play;ing;nake;D
chairs wait under the trees
Field slowly Elysian in
a firmcool - Ness taxis,s.QuirM
and, b etw ee nch air st ott er s thesillyold
In theex qui site
her sureLyeye s sit-ex actly her sitsat a surely!little,
roundtable amongother;littleexactly round. tables,
- THREE, V (pg. 79)
take it from me kiddo
my country, 'tis of
you,land of the Cluett
Shirt Boston Garter and Spearmint
Girl With The Wrigley Eyes(of you
land of the Arrow Ide
and Earl &
Collars)of you i
sing:land of Abraham Lincoln and Lydia E. Pinkham,
land above all of Just Add Hot Water And Serve -
from every B. V. D.
let freedom ring
amen. i do however protest,anent the un
-spontaneous and otherwise scented merde which
greets one(Everywhere Why)as divine poesy per
that and this radically defunct periodical. i would
suggest that certain ideas gestures
rhymes,like Gillette Razor Blades
having been used and reused
to the mystical moment of dullness emphatically are
Not To Be Resharpened. (Case in point
if we are to believe these gently O sweetly
melancholy trillers amid the thrillers
these crepuscular violinists among my and your
skyscrapers - Helen & Cleopatra were Just Too Lovely,
The Snail's On The Thorn enter Morn and God's
In His andsoforth
do you get me? )according
to such supposedly indigenous
throstles Art is O World O Life
a formula:example, Turn Your Shirttails Into
Drawers and If It Isn't An Eastman It Isn't A
Kodak therefore my friends let
us now sing each and all fortissimo A-
You. And there're a
all of you successfully if
delicately gelded (or spaded)
gentlemen(and ladies) - pretty
americans(who tensetendoned and with
upward vacant eyes,painfully
perpetually crouched,quivering,upon the
sternly allotted sandpile
emit a tiny violetflavoured nuisance: Odor?
comes out like a ribbon lies flat on the brush
- Poem, Or Beauty Hurts Mr. Vinal (pg. 8-9)
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Read information about the authorEdward Estlin Cummings was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on October 14, 1894. He began writing poems as early as 1904 and studied Latin and Greek at the Cambridge Latin High School.
He received his BA in 1915 and his MA in 1916, both from Harvard University. His studies there introduced him to the poetry of avant-garde writers, such as Gertrude Stein and Ezra Pound.
In 1917, Cummings published an early selection of poems in the anthology Eight Harvard Poets. The same year, Cummings left the United States for France as a volunteer ambulance driver in World War I. Five months after his assignment, however, he and a friend were interned in a prison camp by the French authorities on suspicion of espionage (an experience recounted in his novel, The Enormous Room) for his outspoken anti-war convictions.
After the war, he settled into a life divided between houses in rural Connecticut and Greenwich Village, with frequent visits to Paris. He also traveled throughout Europe, meeting poets and artists, including Pablo Picasso, whose work he particularly admired.
In 1920, The Dial published seven poems by Cummings, including "Buffalo Bill ’s.” Serving as Cummings’ debut to a wider American audience, these “experiments” foreshadowed the synthetic cubist strategy Cummings would explore in the next few years.
In his work, Cummings experimented radically with form, punctuation, spelling, and syntax, abandoning traditional techniques and structures to create a new, highly idiosyncratic means of poetic expression. Later in his career, he was often criticized for settling into his signature style and not pressing his work toward further evolution. Nevertheless, he attained great popularity, especially among young readers, for the simplicity of his language, his playful mode and his attention to subjects such as war and sex.
The poet and critic Randall Jarrell once noted that Cummings is “one of the most individual poets who ever lived—and, though it sometimes seems so, it is not just his vices and exaggerations, the defects of his qualities, that make a writer popular. But, primarily, Mr. Cummings’s poems are loved because they are full of sentimentally, of sex, of more or less improper jokes, of elementary lyric insistence.”
During his lifetime, Cummings received a number of honors, including an Academy of American Poets Fellowship, two Guggenheim Fellowships, the Charles Eliot Norton Professorship at Harvard, the Bollingen Prize in Poetry in 1958, and a Ford Foundation grant.
At the time of his death, September 3, 1962, he was the second most widely read poet in the United States, after Robert Frost. He is buried in Forest Hills Cemetery in Boston, Massachusetts.
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