International Journal of English Literature and Culture

International Journal of English Literature and Culture

Vol. 4(2), pp. 35-40, February, 2016

 ISSN: 2360-7831

DOI: 10.14662/IJELC2016.018


Review paper


Poetic Style of E.E. Cummings: Discerning Meaning through Language


Dr. Sukanya Saha


Asst. Prof. English, Dept. of English, Vidhyasagar Women’s College, Chengalpet


Accepted 14 March 2016



Literature is a form of self-expression. Writers from all over the world and ages have been expressing themselves in different genres throughout. Each writer exhibits his own style which is reflected in his choice of words, structures or themes. Writer’s style becomes the hallmark of his personality and he is recognised or stands apart from his contemporaries or predecessors on the characteristic features of his works which are essentially his own. The uniqueness with which he gives a form to his literature earns him his worldwide reputation and thus sets up an example or model for others. Needless to say this also gives birth to perennial research and discussion.
E.E. Cummings was one such writer. His poetry has intrigued his reader having a distinct treatment which he gives to his thoughts. Cummings made a mark in the history of English literature. John Logan in Modern American Poetry: Essays in Criticism called him "one of the greatest lyric poets in our language."1 Stanley Edgar Hyman wrote in Standards: A Chronicle of Books for Our Time: "Cummings has written at least a dozen poems that seem to me matchless. Three are among the great love poems of our time or any time."2 Malcolm Cowley admitted in the Yale Review that Cummings "suffers from comparison with those [poets] who built on a larger scale—Eliot, Aiken, Crane, Auden among others—but still he is unsurpassed in his special field, one of the masters."3Jenny Penberthy in the Dictionary of Literary Biography considers Cummings "Among the most innovative of twentieth-century poets.” 4
E. E. Cummings experimented with multiple aspects of poetry and moulded its language to create his own unique style. A Cummings poem typically looks like words scattered on the page. Cummings formed his own words, changed the existing English words and gave them a new meaning. His deviation from the traditionally accepted poetic norms made him popular with many readers as he stood out from his peers. "No one else," Randall Jarrell claimed in his The Third Book of Criticism, "has ever made avant-garde, experimental poems so attractive to the general and the special reader5."
The following discussion is an attempt to view and highlight the characteristic features of Cumming’s poetry. His style, for which he was recognised, is reflected in his manner of presentation of innermost feelings. His poetry is governed by passion and equally passionate he appears when he fashions his poetry in an unprecedented manner. The present article is an attempt to study some of the prominent features of his poetry. The focus is on the language of Cummings, and the poetic licences which he has enjoyed in expressing his thinking.

Key Words: E. E. Cummings, poetic experimentation, poetic style, sentence structures, lexis


Cite This Article As: Dr. Saha S (2016). Poetic Style of E.E. Cummings: Discerning Meaning through Language. Inter. J. Eng. Lit. Cult. 4(2): 35-40



About us
Contact us
Publication Ethics
Submit paper
Author's guide
Current Issues
Join Review Board

Current Issue: February 2016


Submit Paper


Join Editorial Board

Inter. J. English Lit. Cult.

  Vol. 4 No.2

  Viewing options:

Reprint (PDF) (199k)

  Search Pubmed for articles by:


 Saha  S


Other links:
  PubMed Citation
  Related articles in PubMed


Other Journals

International Journal of Economic and Business Management


International Journal  of Academic Research in Education and Review


Internation Journal of Academic Library and Information Science




International of Political Science and Development

© Academic Research Journals / Privacy Policy