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What was the writing style of E.E. Cummings?

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Quick Answer

E.E. Cummings' writing style was nontraditional poetry. His experimentation with syntax, word placement and visual arrangements forces readers to use fresh eyes when reading his work. Readers benefit from reading his poems both verbally and visually. Cummings' unique style made his poems into ideograms for the reader to solve.

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What was the writing style of E.E. Cummings?
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Full Answer

E.E.Cummings' writing style is known for its sparse and precise word choice and placement. He placed strong key words in interesting arrangements and used spacing to add emphasis or to slow the reader down to allow the meaning be absorbed. It was not unusual for Cummings to combine words to make new ones or to use words such as "if," "am" and "because" as nouns. Considered a lyric poet, he is one of the most individualistic in style. His philosophy of poetry was that it was not about the product but rather the process. Despite his striking, unique style, Cummings' themes often focused on universal ideas of love, childhood and even parts of nature, namely flowers. He could also be satirical, especially in his play and diary of travels in the Soviet Union. In 1952, during a lecture at Harvard, Cummings told students his philosophy on the importance of individualism and love. He explained how he found it best to be a "naturally and miraculously whole human being—a feelingly illimitable individual; whose only happiness is to transcend himself." This unique perspective permeated his writing.

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