E.E. Cummings Poem Discovered

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By Jason Boog Comment

Biographer James Dempsey wrote a long essay for The Awl this week, recounting how he discovered an E.E. Cummings poem buried in a publisher’s papers.

Check it out: “One day last year, while working on a biography of the publisher Scofield Thayer, I opened a folder of papers related to his magazine The Dial. The folder contained undated letters from the poet E.E. Cummings to Thayer, early versions of a couple Cummings’ poems and one poem by Cummings I couldn’t remember ever seeing before. It was called “(tonite” and, until I came across it, it was unknown. Evidence suggests that the poem was sent sometime around 1916, when Cummings was embarking on his career as a poet and artist.”

The poem describes a nighttime snowfall and includes a use of the N-word–a point the biographer contextualizes in the essay. Follow this link to read more poems by Cummings (pictured, via).

 

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