Sunday, September 26, 2010
E.E. Cummings Cake: Sexy and Scrumptious
E.E. Cummings is to poetry as red velvet or chocolate is to cake, the sexy version. Edward Estlin Cummings, born on October 14, 1894, is mostly known for his radical experimentation “with form, punctuation, spelling and syntax, abandoning traditional techniques and structures.” He also attained great popularity for the playful mode of his poetry and his attention to subjects such as war and, of course, SEX. In cake terms, Cummings' poem "may i feel said he" is reminiscent of perhaps a sweet German triple-chocolate cake with a fudge icing and strawberries abound. Needless to say, this poem is sexy and scandalous. It has bad written all over it, just like chocolate cake. The poem describes the actual process of adultery being acted. His message is that one action leads to another and everything comes down to choice. Will you choose to be unfaithful? Will you choose to eat yet another piece of that sinfully scrumptious cake? It's all about the choices we make, good or bad.
Many of the poems written by Cummings are of sexual and romantic love that delight and provoke. A collection of his such poetry was published, fittingly entitled Erotic Poems. This collection includes several poems with illustrations (by him) that are sure to get your pulse racing. Cummings' highly provocative poetry won over his young readers who were able to relate to the informality and naivete found within his poems. However, he was popular among older readers as well. A highly celebrated poet of all ages, Cummings was awarded several honors and awards including the Academy of American Poets Fellowship in 1950, two Guggenheim Fellowships in 1933, and the Bollingen Prize in Poetry in 1957. Having created a new, highly idiosyncratic means of poetic expression, E.E. Cummings was one of the most widely-read poets of his generation. He died on September 3, 1962. However, his wonderfully exotic and boundary-pushing poems will live on forever. Suffice it to say, the red velvet/chocolate cakes his poems are compared to, in all their lavishness, will not.