Celebrating the Earth with e e cummings

Edward Estlin Cummings (1894 – 1962) was an American poet known as E. E. Cummings, e. e. cummings and e e cummings. In his poetry, he experiments with new forms of punctuation, capitalization and unusual use of words. As writers, we can appreciate the originality of his work.

Many of us know e e cummings as an unconventional poet, but he was also a painter who produced more than 1,600 oil paintings, drawings and watercolors. The picture for this essay is one of his many striking landscape paintings. These paintings, like his poetry, reflect a childlike wonder and intensity, and give us even more insight into this remarkable man.

Here is one of his poems that celebrates the earth. No matter how many “doting fingers” and “naughty thumbs” sully our earth, she will always answer in her own unique way. This poem is essentially a love song to earth. When we follow the path of the ecstatic poets and feel our love for earth every single day, we will naturally move toward a life that does no harm.

Here’s a word of advice when reading modern poetry – Don’t search for meaning; just read, savor and enjoy and let meaning find you!

O sweet spontaneous
earth how often have

fingers of
prurient philosophers pinched

,has the naughty thumb
of science prodded

beauty how
often have religions taken
thee upon their scraggy knees
squeezing and

buffeting thee that thou mightest conceive

to the incomparable
couch of death thy

thou answerest

them only with


~ e e cummings

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    Margarida Brei
    Margarida Brei(@margarida-brei)
    3 months ago

    Thank you, Julie for educating me about e e cummings. I never realised that he was a painter too. Thank you for writing the first essay that I have read on Voice.Club! Interesting indeed!

    Lotchie Carmelo
    Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
    3 months ago

    I want to extend my heartfelt gratitude. Thank you for extending your very educational stories about E. E. Cummings. It is an enjoyable and educative read. Loving earth is truly a challenge but worth living. 

    Lotchie Carmelo
    Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
    Reply to  Julie Harris
    3 months ago

    I definitely agree.

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