Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Poet of the day: E.E. Cummings

 Or e.e. cummings, according to typographic taste. This is him in 1930 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The photo appears in Portrait of the Writer: literary lives in focus with a foreword by Goffredo Fofi (Thames & Hudson). It contains 250 photos of writers, each with a brief biography alongside. As the Spectator’s reviewer Christopher Howse writes:
The image is surprising. The defining feature is a wide-brimmed felt hat that Tom Mix might have been proud of, in the tradition of J. B. Stetson’s ‘Boss of the Plains’ creation from 1865. Cummings wears a neckerchief over an open shirt and is enjoying a cigarette, the smoke of which adds atmosphere. He is as spruce as a plainsman fresh out of the barber’s after delivering 300 head of Texas longhorns. The unknown photographer has smoothed over the skin tones.
The picture was taken three years before Cummings published his first verse collection. In 1920 he was busy with his memoir, The Enormous Room, about his experiences as an ambulance driver on the western front in the Great War and his three-month imprisonment while facing charges of spying. None of this is to be guessed from the photograph. Apart from the cigarette, he looks very unlike his image in later photographs, from which you might think he was a private detective.


Unknown said...

I have read a part of his book, The Enormous Room as one of my college cover. But I never get to finish it. Thanks for relieving his great works.


Paul said...

he was a handsome man
and what i want to know is
how do you like your blueeyed boy
Mister Death