09/29/06 - my sweet old etcetera

In today's excerpt - poet E.E. Cummings's (1894-1962) reflection on war, 'my sweet old etcetera.' His publishers and others have sometimes echoed the unconventional capitalization by writing his name in lower case, as' e.e. cummings'; Cummings himself did not approve of this rendering. Cummings is probably best known for his poems and their unorthodox capitalization, layout, punctuation and syntax. Many of his poems are best understood when read on the page. When read in the correct fashion, his poems often paint a syntactical picture as vital to the understanding of the poem as the words themselves. Despite Cummings' affinity for avant-garde styles and for unusual typography, much of his work is traditional. During his lifetime, he published more than 900 poems, along with two novels, several plays and essays, as well as numerous drawings, sketches and paintings. He is remembered as one of the preeminent voices of 20th century poetry:

my sweet old etcetera by e. e. cummings

my sweet old etcetera

aunt lucy during the recent

war could and what

is more did tell you just

what everybody was fighting


my sister

Isabel created hundreds


hundreds)of socks not to

mention fleaproof earwarmers

etcetera wristers etcetera, my

mother hoped that

i would die etcetera

bravely of course my father used

to become hoarse talking about how it was

a privilege and if only he

could meanwhile my

self etcetera lay quietly

in the deep mud et




cetera, of

Your smile

eyes knees and of your Etcetera)


E.E. Cummings


My Sweet Old Etcetera
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