also important to this poet, who declares, "kisses are a better fate / than wisdom" ("since feeling is first" ). He warns us, "beware of heartless them / (given the scalpel,they dissect a kiss;" ("one's not half two. It's two are halves of one:" ). He says with wonderment that "your slightest look easily will unclose me" ("somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond" ), since he is a man who has tightened himself like a closed fist. At the opposite pole from his love lyrics are his biting political remarks. He writes of a man brutally treated for his moral objection to military service, a man "whose warmest heart recoiled at war" ("i sing of Olaf glad and big" ), but who faces violence and dies at the hands of his own side for his resistance.
During his lifetime, Cummings published 10 books of poetry, from Tulips and Chimneys (1923) to 95 Poems (1958), plus two volumes of collected poems. 73 Poems (1963), Etcetera: The Unpublished Poems of E. E. Cummings (1983), and Complete Poems 1904-1962 (1991) were published posthumously. His nonfiction writings, in addition to the autobiographical novel The Enormous Room, are Eimi (1933), based on his travels in the Soviet Union, and i: six nonlectures (1953), from his tenure as Norton professor at Harvard. Cummings also published three dramatic works, a collection of absurd/Dada pieces (see surrealism), and a book of his paintings and drawings. Cummings's style remained fundamentally the same throughout his writing career, but he was by no means stagnant; while his aesthetic convictions did not change, he persistently worked at crafting and perfecting his method. Thus, through his genuine care, his poems have a lasting, delightful freshness about them.
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