Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Cheever's new bio of E. E. Cummings

I'm a huge fan of Cummings and his idiosyncratic experiments with feeling and language. Susan Cheever's new bio of E. E. Cummings looks wonderful, including as it does the intimacy of a personal connection through her father's friendship with him. Here's an excerpt. Cummings won me when I first started reading him in high school, as so many did, given the accessibility of his poetry. How could I not be won by a poet who could write:
 
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart 
 
(The whole poem is here.)  
And here is a beautiful musical setting of that poem by Mischa Rutenberg, with art by Nadya Phillips.