Proposal for Cummings ReConSideRed: An Anthology of Essays

The research for AnOther E. E. Cummings (Liveright, 1998) made me realize a need for a companion anthology of Cummings criticism that would include essays that were not reprinted before or, if they appeared in books, not currently in print. This new book would emphasize those critical essays that advance considerably beyond earlier understandings of Cummingsts achievement, either in critical penetration or in identifying previously hidden relationships. Among the essays I would expect to include, consider the following, in no particular order:

Logan, John. “The Organ-Grinder and the Cockatoo,” in Jerome Mazzaro, ed., Modern American Poetry (McKay, 1970), 9,000 wds.

Griffiths, Paul. Entry on EEC in New Grove’s Dictionary of Musicians (1986), 300 wds.

Hyman, Stanley Edgar. “The Extremes of E. E. Cummings,” Standards (Horizon, 1966), 1,500 wds.

Munson, Gorham B. “Syrinx,” Secession, 5 (July 1923), 4,000 wds.

Cureton, Richard D. t’E. E. Cummings: A Study of the Poetic use of Deviant Morphology,” Poetics Today, 1/1-2 (Autumn 1979), 14,000 wds.

Kidder, Rushworth. “Twin Obsessions’: The Poetry and Paintings of E. E. Cummings,” Georgia Review (1978), 10,000 wds (with full-page illustrations)

Rosenfeld, “The Voyages,” Wake, 5 (1946), 5,000 words

Porter, Fairfield. “The Paintings of E. E. Cummings,” Wake, 5 (1946), 800 words.

Cohen, Milton R. “Perceptual Ambiguity in his Early Poetry, Painting,” University of Hartford Studies in Literature, XV/1 (1983).

Jakobson, Roman, & Linda R. Waugh. “Inferences from a Cummings Poem,” in The Sound Shape of Language (Bloomington, IN, 1979)

Fairley, Irene I. “Syntax as Style: An Analysis of Three Cummings’ Poems,” Studies Presented to R. Jakobson by His Students (Cambridge, 1968)

Benedikt, Michael, preface to Santa Claus, in his Theatre Experiment (Anchor, 1967), 500 wds.

Babcock, Sister Mary David, O.S.B. “Cummings’ Typography: An Ideogrammic Style,” Renascence (??)

Burke, Kenneth. Letter to Master Eugene Winton (Feb. 21, 1923), in William Wasserstrom, The Time of the Dial (Syracuse University, 1963), 300 wds.

Moore, Marianne, several appreciations from her Collected Prose (Viking, 1986), 5,000 wds.

Hovland, M. A. The Cummings entry on Musical Settings of American Poetry: A Bibliography.

Gross, Harvey. “E. E. Cummings,” Sound and Form in Modern Poetry (Univ. of Michigan, 196)4), 1,200 wds.

Wickes, George. “Typographic Verse,” Americans in Paris (Paris Review Editions, 1969), 6,000 wds.

Dickinson, Peter. “Stein Satie Cummings Thomson Berners Cage,” The Musical Quarterly (1986), 6,000 wds.

Klima, Edward S., and Ursula Bellugi, “Poetry without Sound,” New Wilderness Letter, 9, as reprinted in Rothenbergs’ Symposium of the Whole (Berkeley, 1986)

My own sense is that this emphasis upon the more innovative Cummings rescues his reputation from the wastebacket of triviality into which it has fallen (as in the recent histories of American poetry and American literature). The book should run about 300 pages, or 115,000 words at 400 words to a page. I previously edited anthologies of criticism of Gertrude Stein, Merce Cunningham, and John Cage, not to mention On Contemporary Literature (196)4, 1969) and American Writing Today (1982, 1991), among others. Please let me know what you and your colleagues think and might want me to do.