E E Cummings
- May 2006
- | Paperback
- | 656pp
About E E Cummings
'Cummings' complex story is told openly and readably in this fine biography'
Scotland on Sunday
First comprehensive life of one of the twentieth century's best loved poets.
E. E. Cummings is best remembered as one of the first poets of the twentieth century to successfully unite poetic tradition with the avant garde; endlessly experimenting with the poetic form, and producing volumes of playfully iconoclastic verse.
In this, the first biography of Cummings for twenty-five years, Christopher Sawyer-Laucanno uses his unprecedented access to the poet's own personal papers to present a picture of a man whose literary success was in direct contrast to the chaos of his personal life.
From his strained relationship with his Harvard professor father, his war-time incarceration in a French prison camp, his extraordinary, prolific liaisons with young women (and consequent failed marriages), to his writing of some of the most remarkable and tender poetry of the twentieth century, the biographer is expert at weaving together the different and difficult elements of the poet's life.
'Sawyer-Laucanno has benefitted enormously from access to previously unpublished sources and tells probably everything you'll ever want to know about his subject, and his book is a must for anyone interested in the generation of writers to which Cummings belonged'
'Sawyer-Laucanno ... writing with a poet's eye, urged not just that [Cumming's poems] were once exciting, but that they can still be used, if intensely and seriously, to write experience afresh. That, he will convince you, is the true business of poetry, and Cummings is a true poet'
The Sunday Telegraph