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100 Selected Poems Paperback – January 10, 1994

4.7 out of 5 stars 58 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“E.E. Cummings is a concentrate of titanic significance.”—Marianne Moore

“To my way of thinking Cummings is, within his field of personal emotion, the lyrical field, one of the inventors of our time. He puts his inventions down with an unexpected refurbishing of phrase and a filigree delicacy of hairbreadth exact statement that is a continual challenge.”—John Dos Passos

“No one else has ever made avant-garde, experimental poems so attractive both to the general and the special reader; since the early twenties, Cummings has been more widely imitated and easily appreciated than any other modernist poet.”—Randall Jarrell

“He has more control over language than any poet since Joyce. . . . Everybody delights in reading him.”—Karl Shapiro

“E.E. Cummings is a concentrate of titanic significance, ‘a positive character’; and only ingenuousness could attempt to suggest in a word the ‘heroic’ aspect of his painting, his poems, and his resistances. He does not make aesthetic mistakes.”—Marianne Moore

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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Product Details

  • Paperback: 121 pages
  • Publisher: Grove Press (January 10, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802130720
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802130723
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 5.2 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #78,424 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For anyone who dismisses cummings as a lightweight poet toying with typography, this book will be an eye-opener. The best of these poems are thoroughly endearing; full of warmth, freshness, and humor. Some readers will be surprised to learn that cummings is especially fine in the love poems, with memorable lines such as: "since feeling is first / who pays any attention / to the syntax of things / will never wholly kiss you;"
At the same time, unfortunately, this collection provides numerous examples of cummings' more irritating work. Virtually all of the best poems are in the first half of this chronological volume; after that, cummings devolves into increasingly tiresome verbal gimmicks. The actual content in these later poems is slight, and the self-congratulatory tone becomes grating. Nonetheless, given the high quality of the early poetry, this book remains a firm recommendation.
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Format: Paperback
I got this book in a used bookstore that was owned by a "former hippie"...is there such a thing, I always felt once a hippie, always a hippie...I didn't even ask for him to recommend it to me, he just looked in my eyes and said, "Hey, man, do you want to read something great?"

I read the whole book from cover to cover in the bookstore and I knew I had to have it as part of my collection. When the old hippie put the book in a bag he just smiled at me as if to say, "I told you so..."

So now I'm telling you, you who is looking for something crazybeautiful in which to pour your lovelyeyeslikemine over. Carry this book with you. Go to the local coffeehouse with pen in hand and make notes in the margins. Talk to Mr. Cummings as though he was right in front of you, because in a way, he never died. He is still very much alive and he especially loves new seekers of his words.

There are certain things that one must read before they exit the planet and this is one of them. You may not go crazy over it as much as I did, and if you weren't the least bit impressed I suggest that you make an appointment with the doctor and see if you have a pulse.

This little book is de-light-full and will work its magic in you if you let it.
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Format: Paperback
A few months ago a friend of mine sent me the poem "may i feel said he" (the thirty-eighth poem in this book) in an email and I found it extremely witty and funny.
I bought this book purposely for that single one and in doing so managed to get another ninety-nine wonderful poems.
Cummings writes with such an imaginitive and intelligent style. You can't help being charmed and inspired at the same time. A great starting point for anyone interesting in his poems.
may i feel said he..i'll squeal said she..just once said he..it's fun said she..may i touch said he..how much said she..a lot said he..why not said she..let's go said he..not too far said she..what's too far said he..where you are said she..may i stay said he..which way said she..like this said he..if you kiss said she..may i move said he..is it love said she..if you're willing said he..but you're killing said she..but it's life said he..but your wife said she..now said he..ow said she..tiptop said he..don't stop said she..on no said he..go slow said she..cccome?said he..ummm said she..you're divine!said he..you are Mine said she
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have bought this book 5 times in my life having lost copys to friends and ex-girl friends who do not want to give it back. I keep buying it even though I have the complete works of ee cummings at home. It is a small distilled and potent book. Like a glass of hard-lemonade in the sunshine.
These poems are his less language experiments and more poetry. the book includes Poems such as He said she said and Some where I have traveled boyond any experience.
The poems are so well crafted and precise yet emotional. The rythum of these poems is also captivating. Cummings is an artist of words who with 50 word may be able to beat any picture.
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I was determined to hate e.e.cummings. The quirks of his spelling and punctuation alone seemed to me to be contrived and overly pretentious and I felt instinctively (without reading it) that his poetry must be some sort of grand put-on. I am even today still not completely convinced he did not suffer some form of mild to severe brain damage (perhaps progressive) that increasingly affected his later writings. However, once I was introduced to the man through this excellent collection, I could no longer deny the stunning originality of his poetry or the gorgeous music of his lyrics, particularly when read aloud (most effectively and rewardingly to an adoring female audience of one). I have been converted into an admirer through this collection.

100 SELECTED POEMS is a fine and concise introduction to the works of this nonconformist poet. There is a sampling of his very best poems and enough variety to sway all doubters. This collection wisely (I feel) avoids the more terrifyingly eccentric typography of some of his more notorious efforts, though some of the later poems in this collection push the envelope far enough to be discomforting (but in a good way). No collection of American poetry would be complete without e.e.cummings, and this book rattles like a fragment of angry candy.

Jeremy W. Forstadt
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