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Upbringing and Early Life

Page history last edited by Meaghan Kelly 11 years, 6 months ago

The Upbringing & Early Life of E.E. Cummings



Cummings was born on October 14 1894, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to an affluent and influential family of the time. His father was a professor of sociology and political science at Harvard University (where E.E. would later lecture), but then went on to become a minister at a Unitarian Church. Cummings also went on to attend Harvard, studying English and the Classics, and graduating magna cum laude. His controversial commencement address in 1916 was merely a taste of his future writing career, especially in the sense of incorporating visual artistry into literary works, which takes the form of innovative typography. His poems had been published regularly in the university magazine Harvard Monthly, aiding in the first exposure of his poetry. After graduating, Cummings enrolled in the Norton-Harjes Ambulance Corp which later led to his experiences in a military detention camp after expressing pacifist views toward the war. He recounts this experience in his novel The Enormous Room, one of the first pieces that helped him get his name out in the open. After serving in the U.S. Army until 1918, Cummings went on to live in and travel to a variety of places, such as Paris, New York, the Soviet Union, Africa, and Mexico. His travels and upbringing effected his literature greatly, and so did his experiences with love. Three wives and a lost daughter made love one of Cummings' favorite subjects, and he intertwined the transcendentalist teachings from his Unitarian father into these works as well.

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