E. E. Cummings (1894—1962) was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and at the age of eight began writing a poem a day. His popularity, especially among young readers, came from the simplicity of his language, his playful mode, and his attention to subjects such as war and sex. Cummings experimented radically with form, punctuation, spelling, and syntax to create highly idiosyncratic work in which words were sometimes used as visual objects on the page. At his death he was celebrated both for his originality and for being one of the most widely read poets in America.
Photograph from Houghton Library, Harvard University.