In 2007 writer and teacher, Matthew Burgess, had an unexpected
chance to see the room in New York where E. E. Cummings wrote for over
forty years. Although it had been transformed into a boy's bedroom,
he could easily imagine it in its former incarnation. Three years
later this experience seemed like an omen when his editor asked him to
do a picture book about cummings. The delightful result was Enormous
Smallness: A Story Of E. E. Cummings.
Edward Estlin Cummings grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts in a
family that encouraged him to pursue his interests. He began creating
poems at such an early age his mother wrote them down. Not
surprisingly, when he was eleven his favorite teacher encouraged his
He became an unconventional writer at a time when artists in all
genres were exploring new directions and breaking free from the
conventions of the past. He explored new ways of placing words on
paper and used lowercase letters where most people insisted on
capitals--even in his name.
Enormous Smallness gives fascinating glimpses into the life of
one of America's best loved poets. Children will especially enjoy
details such as the poet as young boy and his sister flying a kite on
the roof of their family home.
On a personal note, I had just started signing my name on all but the
most official documents with no capitals. I like the way it looks.
After being reminded of such a fine literary precedent, I shall do so
in this blog.
A great big shout our goes out to my fellow free spirits in the worlds
of writing and art.
Sent from my iPod