E. E. Cummings: The Technique Of Immediacy

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E.E. Cummings, born in 1894 and died in 1962, wrote many poems that had unconventional capitalization and punctuation, and also a language style that made the readers look deeper for the meaning of his writing. For example, his name, there was a story going around that E.E. Cummings changed his name to all lowercase because of the way he used capitalization for an enhanced meaning. It turned out that the story was a myth, stated from Marion who was Cummings widow. Norman Friedman even states to his editor/ publisher his opinion, which is that, “My previous book has the capitalized form in the text & the lower case form on jacket, spine, & title page. I lean slightly, however, toward the capitalized form even for the latter places, for I think…show more content…
Cummings: The Technique of Immediacy by S.V. Baum caught attention to what others actually think of Cummings, away from Norman Friedman’s view. In contrast, Baum explains that each time a protest becomes necessary, several lines are wrenched from a poem by Cummings to furnish conclusive proof that his is the work of a trickster who delights in offending sense; the poetic sample offered for examination is invariably a jumble of disjointed words and scattered punctuation (104). Baum argues with Friedman’s view on how Cummings poems brings special meaning with misuse of English. Looking at this view will help question whether there is a meaning in poems with misused capitals and punctuation. For example, Baum honestly states that each printed page discloses such violation of order that the reader is shocked: words are stretched out vertically and horizontally; capital letters jump up where they do not belong; punctuation marks intrude irregularly; lacunae appear within and between lines. Because order has been violated, it is concluded that meaning, in its dependent variable, has been destroyed at the same time. And a poem without meaning is nonsense (104). In another source by Baum himself, titled E.E. Cummings and the Critics, states that Mr. Cummings’s eccentric punctuation is, also, I believe, a symptom of his immaturity as an artist. It is not merely a question of an unconventional usage: unconventional punctuation…show more content…
But when thinking about poems and what they are supposed to mean, it seems acceptable to take it into your own hands. Just like Cummings, other poets use unconventional punctuation and capitalization to get their meaning across. While there are critics that say it isn’t right, the importance of the poem is truly the meaning and how someone interprets it. For example, when I read poems, I use the capitalization and punctuation as a way to look at what the words mean in the stanzas. Taking an example from Cummings work, he occasionally doesn’t capitalize the letter “I” because he wants us to focus on why he did that. What is the meaning behind him capitalizing certain letters, and using a bundle of semicolons in his work? It makes us research the poems more to try to understand it better, it makes the poem worth reading. Works Cited Baum, S. V. Esti, E.E.C: E.E. Cummings and the Critics. Michigan State University Press, East Lansing, 1962. “Decapitalization.” Edited by Meaghan Kelly, An Introduction to E.E. Cummings / Decapitalization, 2010, eecpoem.pbworks.com/w/page/9068325/Decapitalization. “E.E. Cummings.” Biography.com, A&E Networks Television, 22 Aug. 2016, www.biography.com/people/ee-cummings-9263274. Friedman, Norman. E.E. Cummings: The Art of His Poetry. Johns Hopkins Press, Baltimore, 1960. Friedman,
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