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E. E. Cummings (Writer)

The typography of some of these quotes may seem incorrect: it probably isn't. Outside of some bolding for emphasis of well noted or notable statements, and a few marks of ellipsis "…" for gaps, the author's often odd original typography has been retained, so much as possible, in many of the quotes, including where punctuation marks between words are often used without any spaces.
E. E. Cummings quotes
Writing...is an art; and artists...are human beings. As a human being stands, so a human being is....
E. E. Cummings art
All in green went my love riding on a great horse of gold into the silver dawn.
E. E. Cummings love
it's spring when the world is puddle-wonderful
E. E. Cummings world
So, ungentle reader, (as you and I value what we should ashamed—after witnessing a few minor circus-marvels—to call our "lives,") let us never be fooled into taking seriously that perfectly superficial distinction which is vulgarly drawn between the circus-show and "art" or "the arts." Let us not forget that every authentic "work of art" is in and of itself alive and that, however "the arts" may differ among themselves, their common function is the expression of that supreme alive-ness which is known as "beauty." This being so, our three ring circus is art—for to contend that the spectacle in question is not an authentic manifestation of "beauty" is as childish, as to dismiss the circus on the ground that it is "childish," is idiotic.
E. E. Cummings art
somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyondany experience, your eyes have their silence. in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me, or which i cannot touch because they are too near your slightest look easily will unclose methough i have closed myself as fingers, you always open petal by petal myself as Spring opens(touching skilfully,mysteriously)her first rose or if it be your wish to close me, i and my life will shut very beautifully, suddenly as the heart of this flower imagines the snow carefully everywhere descending; nothing we are to perceive in this world equals the power of your intense fragility: whose texture compels me with the colour of its countries rendering death and forever with each breathing
E. E. Cummings life
(i do not know what it is about you that closesand opens;only something in me understandsthe voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands
E. E. Cummings body
My theory of technique, if I have one, is very far from original; nor is it complicated. I can express it in fifteen words, by quoting The Eternal Question And Immortal Answer of burlesk, viz. "Would you hit a woman with a child?— No, I'd hit her with a brick." Like the burlesk comedian, I am abnormally fond of that precision which creates movement.
E. E. Cummings words
I'd rather learn from one bird how to sing than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance.
E. E. Cummings sin
Simple people,people who don't exist,prefer things which don't exist,simple things. "Good" and "bad" are simple things. You bomb me = "bad." I bomb you = "good." Simple people(who,incidentally,run this socalled world)know this(they know everything)whereas complex people—people who feel something—are very,very ignorant and really don't know anything.
E. E. Cummings people
Very luckily for you and me,the uncivilized sun mysteriously shines on "good" and "bad" alike. He is an artist.
E. E. Cummings art
Art is a mystery. A mystery is something immeasurable. In so far as every child and woman and man may be immeasurable, art is the mystery of every man and woman and child. In so far as a human being is an artist, skies and mountains and oceans and thunderbolts and butterflies are immeasurable; and art is every mystery of nature. Nothing measurable can be alive; nothing which is not alive can be art; nothing which cannot be art is true: and everything untrue doesn’t matter a very good God damn...
E. E. Cummings art
Why do you paint? For exactly the same reason I breathe. That’s not an answer. There isn’t any answer. How long hasn’t there been any answer? As long as I can remember. And how long have you written? As long as I can remember. I mean poetry. So do I.
E. E. Cummings poetry
Your poems are rather hard to understand, whereas your paintings are so easy. Easy? Of course—you paint flowers and girls and sunsets; things that everybody understands. I never met him. Who? Everybody. Did you ever hear of nonrepresentational painting? I am. Pardon me? I am a painter, and painting is nonrepresentational. Not all painting. No: housepainting is representational. And what does a housepainter represent? Ten dollars an hour.In other words, you don’t want to be serious— It takes two to be serious.
E. E. Cummings pain
when you confuse art with propaganda,you confuse an act of God with something which can be turned on and off like the hot water faucet. If "God" means nothing to you(or less than nothing)I'll cheerfully substitute one of your own favorite words,"freedom". You confuse freedom—the only freedom—with absolute tyranny… all over this socalled world,hundreds of millions of servile and insolent inhuman unbeings are busily unrolling in the enlightenment of propaganda.
E. E. Cummings freedom
There are still a few erect human beings in the socalled world. Proudly and humbly,I say to these human beings: "O my fellow citizens,many an honest man believes a lie. Though you are as honest as the day, fear and hate the liar. Fear and hate him when he should be feared and hated:now. Fear and hate him were he should be feared and hated:in yourselves. "Do not hate and fear the artist in yourselves,my fellow citizens. Honour him and love him. Love him truly— do not try to possess him. Trust him as nobly as you trust tomorrow. "Only the artist in yourselves is more truthful than the night."
E. E. Cummings love
Life,for eternal us,is now
E. E. Cummings life
Love is the voice under all silences, the hope which has no opposite in fear; the strength so strong mere force is feebleness: the truth more first than sun, more last than star...
E. E. Cummings truth
milly befriended a stranded star whose rays five languid fingers were; and molly was chased by a horrible thing which raced sideways while blowing bubbles:and may came home with a smooth round stone as small as the world and as big as alone for whatever we lose (like a you or a me) it's always ourselves we find in the sea
E. E. Cummings world
all ignorance toboggans into know and trudges up to ignorance again
E. E. Cummings ignorance
that strictly(and how)scienti fic land of supernod where freedom is compulsory and only man is god.
E. E. Cummings god
There are certain things in which one is unable to believe for the simple reason that he never ceases to feel them. Things of this sort— things which are always inside of us and in fact are us and which consequently will not be pushed off or away where we can begin thinking about them— are no longer things; they, and the us which they are, equals A Verb; an IS.
E. E. Cummings thinking
a man who had fallen among thieves lay by the roadside on his back dressed in fifteenthrate ideas wearing a round jeer for a hat
E. E. Cummings man
wholly to be a fool while Spring is in the world my blood approves, and kisses are a better fate than wisdom
E. E. Cummings wisdom
life's not a paragraph And death i think is no parenthesis
E. E. Cummings life
Here life is, moves; faintly. A wrist. The faint throb of blood, precise, miraculous . . . And they talk of dying! The blood delicately descending and ascending: making an arm. Being an arm. The warm flesh, the dim slender flesh filled with life, slenderer than a miracle, frailer . . . These are the shoulders through which fell the world. The dangerous shoulders of Eve, in god's entire garden newly strolling.
E. E. Cummings life
A distinct throat. Which breathes. A head: small, smaller than a flower. With eyes and with lips. Lips more slender than light; a smile how carefully and slowly made, a smile made entirely of dream. Eyes deeper than Spring. Eyes darker than Spring, more new . . . These, these are the further miracles . . . the breasts. Thighs. The All which is beyond comprehension — the All which is perpetually discovered, yet undiscovered: sexual, sweet, Alive!
E. E. Cummings sex
It may take two people to make a really beautiful mistake
E. E. Cummings people
ye!the godless are the dull and the dull are the damned
E. E. Cummings god
Women and men (both little and small) cared for anyone not at all they sowed their isn't they reaped their same sun moon stars rain… all by all and deep by deep and more by more they dream their sleep
E. E. Cummings men
my father moved through dooms of love through sames of am through haves of give singing each morning out of each night my father moved through depths of height
E. E. Cummings love
and nothing quite so least as truth —i say though hate were why men breathe— because my father lived his soullove is the whole and more than all
E. E. Cummings love
love is the every only god
E. E. Cummings love
love is more thicker than forget …it is more sane and sunly and more it cannot die than all the sky which only is higher than the sky
E. E. Cummings love
measureless our pure living complete lovewhose doom is beauty and its fate to grow
E. E. Cummings love
on forever's very now we stand
E. E. Cummings forever
a politician is an arse upon which everyone has sat except a man
E. E. Cummings man
told him:he couldn't believe it( told him;he wouldn't believe it tsze certainly told him,and general (yes mam); and even (believe it or not)you told him:i told him;we told him (he didn't believe it,no sir)
E. E. Cummings believe
pity this busy monster, manunkind, not. Progress is a comfortable disease: your victim (death and life safely beyond) plays with the bigness of his littleness
E. E. Cummings life
We doctors know a hopeless case if — listen: there's a hell of a good universe next door; let's go
E. E. Cummings hope
—when skies are hanged and oceans drowned, the single secret will still be man
E. E. Cummings man
what if a dawn of a doom of a dream bites this universe in two, peels forever out of it's grave and sprinkles nowhere with me and you?
E. E. Cummings dream
no sunbeam ever lies
E. E. Cummings lies
true wars are never won
E. E. Cummings war
'and liars kill their kind but' her,my 'love creates love only' our
E. E. Cummings love
nothing false and possible is love (who's imagined, therefore limitless) love's to giving as to keeping's give; as yes is to if, love is to yes
E. E. Cummings love
true lovers in each happening of their hearts live longer than all which and every who;
E. E. Cummings love
yes is a pleasant country… love is a deeper season than reason
E. E. Cummings love
—tommorow is our permanent address and there they'll scarcely find us(if they do, we'll move away still further:into now
E. E. Cummings man
nothing except the impossible shall occur
E. E. Cummings possible
What concerns me fundamentaly is a meteoric burlesk melodrama, born of the immemorial adage love will find a way.
E. E. Cummings love
First published as the Foreword to a collection ofcomic strips (1946), later published in A Miscellany Revised (1965)
E. E. Cummings
The sensical law of this world is might makes right; the nonsensical law of our heroine is love conquers all.
E. E. Cummings love
The benevolent overdog sees her as an inspired weakling. The malevolent undermouse views her as a born target. Meanwhile Krazy Kat, through this double misunderstanding, fulfills her joyous destiny.
E. E. Cummings joy
A humbly poetic, gently clownlike, supremely innocent, and illimitably affectionate creature (slightly resembling a child's drawing of a cat, but gifted with the secret grace and obvious clumsiness of a penguin on terra firma) who is never so happy as when egoist-mouse, thwarting altruist-dog, hits her in the head with a brick. Dog hates mouse and worships "cat", mouse despises "cat" and hates dog, "cat" hates no one and loves mouse.
E. E. Cummings love
If you're a twofisted, spineless progressive (a mighty fashionable stance nowadays) Offissa Pupp, who forcefully asserts the will of socalled society, becomes a cosmic angel; while Ignatz Mouse, who forcefully defies society's socalled will by asserting his authentic own, becomes a demon of anarchy and a fiend of chaos. But if—whisper it—you're a 100% hidebound reactionary, the foot's in the other shoe. Ignatz Mouse then stands forth as a hero, pluckily struggling to keep the flag of free will flying; while Offissa Pupp assumes the monstrous mien of a Goliath, satanically bullying a tiny but indomitable David. Well, let's flip the coin—so: and lo! Offissa Pupp comes up. That makes Ignatz Mouse "tails." Now we have a hero whose heart has gone to his head and a villain whose head has gone to his heart.
E. E. Cummings art
out of the mountain of his soul comes a keen pure silence
E. E. Cummings soul
blossoming are people… all the earth has turned to sky …and i am you are i am we
E. E. Cummings art
i feel that(false and true are merely to know) Love only has ever been,is,and will ever be,So
E. E. Cummings true
i thank You God for most this amazing day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees and a blue true dream of sky;and for everything which is natural which is infinite which is yes
E. E. Cummings dream
i who have died am alive again today, and this is the sun's birthday;this is the birth day of life and of love and wings:and of the gay great happening illimitably earth
E. E. Cummings love
how should tasting touching hearing seeing breathing any — lifted from the no of all nothing — human merely being doubt unimaginable You?
E. E. Cummings man
now the ears of my ears awake and now the eyes of my eyes are opened
E. E. Cummings eyes
—the great my darling happens to be that love are in we, that love are in we
E. E. Cummings love
completely dare be beautiful
E. E. Cummings beautiful
more each particular person is(my love) alive than every world can understand and now you are and i am now and we're a mystery that will never happen again, a miracle which has never happened before— and shining this our now must come to then
E. E. Cummings love
poetry and every other art was and is and forever will be strictly and distinctly a question of individuality....poetry is being, not doing....if poetry is your goal, you've got to forget all about punishments and all about rewards and all about selfstyled obligations and duties and responsibilities . . .
E. E. Cummings poetry
The one...thing which mattered about any poem (so ran my second poetic period's credo) was what the poem said; it's socalled meaning ... Thus it will be seen that, by the year 1900, one growing American boy had reached exactly that stage of "intellectual development" beyond which every ungrowing Marxist adult of today is strictly forbidden ... ever to pass.
E. E. Cummings men
concerning this selfstyled world's greatest and most generous literary figure: who had just arrived in our nation's capitol, attired in half a GI uniform and ready to be hanged as a traitor by the only country which ever made even a pretense of fighting for freedom of speech Re Ezra Pound — poetry happens to be an art;and artists happen to be human beings.
E. E. Cummings poetry
An artist doesn't live in some geographical abstraction,superimposed on a part of this beautiful earth by the nonimagination of unanimals and dedicated to the proposition that massacre is a social virtue because murder is an individual vice. Nor does an artist live in some soi-disant world,nor does he live in some so-called universe,nor does he live in any number of "worlds" or in any number of "universes." As for a few trifling delusions like the "past" and "present" and "future" of quote mankind unquote,they may be big enough for a couple of billion supermechanized submorons but they're much too small for one human being.
E. E. Cummings art
Every artist's strictly illimitable country is himself.An artist who plays that country false has committed suicide;and even a good lawyer cannot kill the dead. But a human being who's true to himself — whoever himself may be — is immortal;and all the atomic bombs of all the antiartists in spacetime will never civilize immortality.
E. E. Cummings time
the courage to receive time's mightiest dream
E. E. Cummings time
no evil is so worse than worst you fall in hate with love —human one mortally immortal i can turn immense all time's because to why
E. E. Cummings love
though mankind persuades itself that every weed's a rose,roses(you feel certain) will only smile
E. E. Cummings self
seeming's enough for slaves of space and time —ours is the now and here of freedom. Come
E. E. Cummings time
Time's a strange fellow; more he gives than takes (and he takes all)
E. E. Cummings strange
a million thousand hundred nothings seem —we are himself's own self;his very him
E. E. Cummings self
exists no miracle mightier than this:to feel
E. E. Cummings
dreamtree,truthtree tree of jubilee:with aeons of (trivial merely)existence,all when may not measure a now of your treasure
E. E. Cummings truth
each ignorant gladness —unteaches what despair preaches
E. E. Cummings despair
unlove's the heavenless hell and the homeless home
E. E. Cummings love
lovers alone wear sunlight
E. E. Cummings love
The whole truth… sings only —and all lovers are the song
E. E. Cummings love
it's you are whatever a moon has always meant and whatever a sun will always sing is you
E. E. Cummings hate
in E. E. Cummings, a Miscellany: A Miscellany (1958), edited by George James Firmage, p. 13
E. E. Cummings age
Almost anybody can learn to think or believe or know, but not a single human being can be taught to feel … the moment you feel, you're nobody-but-yourself.To be nobody-but-yourself — in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else — means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.
E. E. Cummings men
nothing is quite as easy as using words like somebody else. We all of us do exactly this nearly all of the time — and whenever we do it, we are not poets.
E. E. Cummings time
my advice to all young people who wish to become poets is: do something easy, like learning how to blow up the world — unless you're not only willing, but glad, to feel and work and fight till you die. Does this sound dismal? It isn't.It's the most wonderful life on earth. Or so I feel.
E. E. Cummings life
—E. E. Cummings
E. E. Cummings
seeker of truth follow no path all paths lead where truth is here
E. E. Cummings truth
it's love by whom (my beautiful friend) the gift to live is without until: …love was and shall be this only truth (a dream of a deed, born not to die)
E. E. Cummings love
it's so damn sweet when Anybody— …makes you feel …for once (imag -ine) You
E. E. Cummings body
because it's Spring thingS dare to do people
E. E. Cummings people
a great man is gone. Tall as the truth was who; and wore his … life like a … sky.
E. E. Cummings life
they flock and they flee through the thunder of seem though the stars in their silence say Be.
E. E. Cummings silence
the cunning the craven … they live for until though the sun in his heaven says Now
E. E. Cummings heaven
they work and they pray and they bow to a must though the earth in her splendor says May
E. E. Cummings art
without any doubt he was whatever(first and last) most people fear most: a mystery for which iv'e no word except alive
E. E. Cummings fear
Mostpeople have been heard screaming for international measures that render hell rational —i thank heaven somebody's crazy enough to give me a daisy
E. E. Cummings people
we sans love equals mob
E. E. Cummings love

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