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95 Poems Paperback – 18 Sep 2002

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Product details

  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Liveright (18 Sept. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0871401819
  • ISBN-13: 978-0871401816
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1 x 21.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 711,364 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

E. E. Cummings (1894-1962) was among the most influential, widely read, and revered modernist poets. His many awards included an Academy of American Poets Fellowship, two Guggenheim Fellowships, and the Bollingen Prize. Among his many volumes are The Enormous Room and Tulips & Chimneys.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A.Trendl HungarianBookstore.com on 25 Feb. 2005
Format: Paperback
Reviewing E. E. Cummings' poetry is challenging due to the complexity of line and phrase construction employed by Mr Cummings. Instead, consider what it is: A short collection of poetry by one of the most influential English language poets of the last 50 years. This, for me, was enough to by "95 Poems."
The poems have no titles except for numbers. While this might dismiss the need for a table of contents, it makes referencing a poem here difficult. Luckily, the publishers chose to include first lines in the contents. High school students will find "57" ("old age sticks"), the first Cummings' poem most us encounter. That said, "59" (or should I say number 59?) is my favorite.
when any mortal(even the most odd)
can justify the ways of man to God
i'll think it strange that normal mortals can
not justify the ways of God to man
Readers newly introduced to Cummings' groundbreaking style might find him hard to read. For me, it works for most of his poems. It fails occasionally, but this may be more as a result of my ignorance rather than Cummings' poetic inadequacies. Allowing the unique use of punctuation and line breaks to become like notes in a score, things came together for me, and this poetry became less obtuse. With each rereading, understanding Cummings becomes like learning to listen through an accent.
I fully recommend "95 Poems" by E. E. Cummings.
Anthony Trendl
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Kurt Messick HALL OF FAME on 24 Mar. 2005
Format: Paperback
The poetry of ee cummings is something that most Americans gain exposure to during secondary school (and very rarely in the education of those outside America) -- he is often seen as an acceptable example of one who broke the rules -- rules, the teacher will often hasten to add, which must be mastered before they can be acceptably broken.
Yet this is not what ee cummings would hope had come of his legacy. In reading his poetry in book, 95 Poems, a new vision begins to emerge of a real maverick--not someone who wanted to break the rules, but someone who eschewed the idea of rules so completely that breaking them was beyond the question, for that would have to recognise the value of the rules.
There are some classic examples of cummings following convention but still breaking rules--adhering to rhyme and meter, yet very original. The poem 'maggie and milly and molly and may' shows this, structured yet new.
Or, perhaps no longer that original. Unfortunately, ee cummings has become a conventional unconventionality. He was a success at being different--at one point only cummings and Frost, New Englanders both, with very different vines growing on the respective sides of their fence, were able to make a living solely from their writing while concentrating on poetry.
Some of his poetry is best meant to be read aloud, as all good poetry ultimately finds its best expression not on the lifeless page but in the spirited, feeling telling. There is an incredible sense -- for example, the poem 'i am a little church (no great cathedral)' has a strength read aloud that it somehow misses being silent on the page.
Some of the cummings poetry, however, is simplicity and verges on the concrete.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 6 reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Accessible and Intriguing 20 Feb. 2003
By A.Trendl HungarianBookstore.com - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Reviewing E. E. Cummings' poetry is challenging due to the complexity of line and phrase construction employed by Mr. Cummings. Instead, consider what it is: A short collection of poetry by one of the most influential English language poets of the last 50 years. This, for me, was enough to by "95 Poems."
The poems have no titles except for numbers. While this might dismiss the need for a table of contents, it makes referencing a poem here difficult. Luckily, the publishers chose to include first lines in the contents. High school students will find "57" ("old age sticks"), the first Cummings' poem most us encounter. That said, "59" (or should I say number 59?) is my favorite.
when any mortal(even the most odd)
can justify the ways of man to God
i'll think it strange that normal mortals can
not justify the ways of God to man
Readers newly introduced to Cummings' groundbreaking style might find him hard to read. For me, it works for most of his poems. It fails occasionally, but this may be more as a result of my ignorance rather than Cummings' poetic inadequacies. Allowing the unique use of punctuation and line breaks to become like notes in a score, things came together for me, and this poetry became less obtuse. With each rereading, understanding Cummings becomes like learning to listen through an accent.
I fully recommend "95 Poems" by E. E. Cummings.
Anthony Trendl
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
more last than star 6 Jan. 2003
By Thomas E. Defreitas - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The sexagenarian Edward Estlin Cummings gives us poems of remarkable versatility and joy. The volume begins with autumn and ends with spring. In between we have songs and sonnets and serene calligraphy, urbanity and sarcasm and protest against tyranny, we have childlike wonder at a distant star and the ultranecessary reminder that "not all matterings of mind equal one violet."
We have clarity, we have acceptance of the universe as it appears:
now air is air and thing is thing:no bliss
of heavenly earth beguiles our spirits,whose
miraculously disenchanted eyes
live the magnificent honesty of space.
We have the bluejay as "beautiful anarchist" and the slender eulogy for "this man's heart" who was "true to his earth" and not interested in "anyone's world." We have the famous (and to our mind unsplendid) jingle about "maggie and milly and molly and may."
We have apothegms: "dive for dreams / or a slogan may topple you"; we have "first robin the" and his message "april hello," and we have the limitless grace of "out of the lie of no."
Poems 87 through 95 -- with perhaps one exception -- are immortal. It bears repeating: immortal.
There are a few typographical poems that don't quite work, and a few ballad-jingles where Cummings conceals his meaning rather too well, but all in all, the book called "95 poems" is a splendour and an ineffably graceful achievement, reminding us that:
--saharas have their centuries,ten thousand
of which are smaller than a rose's moment
(and, from the same poem, the 11th)
... there is a time for timelessness
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
95 poetic theses... 21 Jun. 2004
By FrKurt Messick - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The poetry of ee cummings is something that most Americans gain exposure to during secondary school (and very rarely in the education of those outside America) -- he is often seen as an acceptable example of one who broke the rules -- rules, the teacher will often hasten to add, which must be mastered before they can be acceptably broken.
Yet this is not what ee cummings would hope had come of his legacy. In reading his poetry in book, 95 Poems, a new vision begins to emerge of a real maverick--not someone who wanted to break the rules, but someone who eschewed the idea of rules so completely that breaking them was beyond the question, for that would have to recognise the value of the rules.
There are some classic examples of cummings following convention but still breaking rules--adhering to rhyme and meter, yet very original. The poem 'maggie and milly and molly and may' shows this, structured yet new.
Or, perhaps no longer that original. Unfortunately, ee cummings has become a conventional unconventionality. He was a success at being different--at one point only cummings and Frost, New Englanders both, with very different vines growing on the respective sides of their fence, were able to make a living solely from their writing while concentrating on poetry.
Some of his poetry is best meant to be read aloud, as all good poetry ultimately finds its best expression not on the lifeless page but in the spirited, feeling telling. There is an incredible sense -- for example, the poem 'i am a little church (no great cathedral)' has a strength read aloud that it somehow misses being silent on the page.
Some of the cummings poetry, however, is simplicity and verges on the concrete. These sometimes resort to cleverness that might have been genius of observation at the time but unfortunately due to overexposure now just seem an elementary type of cleverness. Of course, simplicity is so often overlooked, that when it is seen, we often react not as we should.
Arrangement on the page is so critical to cummings perception of how things must be that the lastest editions of his poetry are put in typewriter typeset (the way he composed and envisioned his poetry). The medium is part of the message, he might have said.
Try to read cummings with a new eye, and look for that which would have been shocking to the more standard and rule-bound Cambridge soul.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Find it out of print it is great. 29 Aug. 2000
By Ernest Boehm - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I really was amazed by this book. It is a classic of american poetry (once again out of print) it is worth finding. Half the poems are experiments and sort of have a puzzle to them. Which makes them really good study in how far one can go with laungage.
The rest are as equal in creativity of construction but hammer home the poet's ideas in a very direct and certain manner. This book shows that cummings could master any style and create new forms. Words were bent to the poets needs. ee cummings could follow any poetic style, yet he decided to hae his own. For his style alone he should be read. But for this themes he should be charished.
Her is one of the best ones
i shal imagine life
is not worth dying,if
(and when)roses complain
their beauties are in vain
but though mankind persuades
itself that every weed's
a rose,roses(you feel
certain)will only smile
Four Stars 13 Nov. 2014
By Deedledee - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Some of E e Cummings best are here.
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