30 Beautiful EE Cummings Quotes From His Poetry About Love and Life To Adore

The most experimental lyric poet!

Nashrah Ansari

Nashrah Ansari

7 months ago|10 min read

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Edwards Estlin Cummings, better known as e e cummings, was an American poet, artist, author, and playwright. In addition to his poetry, Cummings was also known for his play, Him, an array of skits drawing from burlesque, the circus, and jumping quickly from tragedy to grotesque comedy. 

The male character is named Him; the female character is Me. EE cummings, who also experimented with the fourth wall concept during the play. The three-act play turns so that the audience sees the room from all perspectives.

A typical Cummings poem is spare and precise, manipulating a few words placed on the page. Many of the words were invented by him, often combining two common words to form a new word. Cummings poetic language was uniquely his own, and poems were unusual as they focused on somewhat passé lyrical themes as Love, childhood, and flowers. 

He was described as one of the greatest lyric poets in the English language and ranked among the best love poets of his time. In his EE Cummings: The Art of His Poetry, Friedman wrote, Love always was ... Cummings' chief subject of interest. 

Many of EE Cummings quotes from his poetry forces the reader to examine experience with fresh eyes due to his eccentric use of grammar and punctuation are evident in his poetry. However, many of the poems are written in a conventional language. 

1) Whenever you think or you believe or you know, you're a lot of other people: but the moment you feel, you're nobody-but-yourself.

In his brief prose, EE Cummings quotes offer terrific advice for creation, life, and the complicated art of being oneself in a world that seems to be screaming for us not to be. According to the poet, this quote implies that the moment many of us fear the most, separation from what we are, break from what we are is the worst thing that could happen to someone.

2) A lot of people think or believe or know they feel — but that’s thinking or believing or knowing; not feeling. And poetry is feeling — not knowing or believing or thinking.

Using brief, exact, vigorous words, like those of his poetry, cummings establishes a vital and essential path for any person who leans toward artistic creation. It also speaks that art is something that makes us what we are.

3) Life's not a paragraph And death I think is no parenthesis.

Like many EE Cummings life quotes, this quote is pulled from his poem 'since feeling is first,' a love poem that celebrates romance's joys. This poem encourages people to stop overthinking life, highlighting that existence is not to be neatly organized or analyzed like a text block. Instead, life is something that people should merely experience; life is about living it, not studying it.

4) The three saddest things are the ill wanting to be well, the poor wanting to be rich, and the constant traveller saying 'anywhere but here'.

The EE Cummings love quotes continue to amuse, delight and provoke a sense of feeling and empathy. While we already know that expectations are the root cause of all evil, we tend to cling to expectations always.

5) I carry your heart with me
I carry it in my heart.
I am never without it anywhere 
I go you go my dear.

The above EE Cummings love quote is from his poem 'I Carry Your Heart' is arguably the most popular of all EE Cummings love poems and is a prime example of how never capitalized names, personal pronouns, or the first words in any sentence. It talks about profound true love, one's abject love to a person who has become the centre of the other's attention with a world revolving around that one person.

6) And so my advice to all young people who wish to become poets is: do something easy, like learning how to blow up the world — unless you're not only willing but glad, to feel and work and fight till you die.

These EE Cummings life quotes are from the published text entitled A Poet's Advice to Students from a small Michigan newspaper. This quote is intended for those who aspire to be poets. It speaks about the truest struggle one can make in one's life. He invites the poet to nothing more and nothing less than themselves.

7) Most people are perfectly afraid of silence.

In this quote, Cummings is advocating for more silence and that more people should welcome it. Being afraid of silence may likely be a fear of contemplation, a fear of feeling. The above quote jots down as defence of his attraction—that he is not afraid of the silence.

8) Love's to giving as to keeping's give; as yes to if, love is to yes.

This EE Cummings love quote from his poem 'Nothing False And Possible Is Love.' communicates the philosophy that love is real, and the path of love is not an easy walk. In other words, the poem speaks about being committed to your passion and facing the challenges the whole world is against you. 

9) One's not half of two. Two are halves of one.

These heart-wrenchingly and beautiful quotes can give your insights into the feelings you don’t completely understand. This quote speaks that nothing is more beautiful than the feeling of love. It has that power that can make you do anything.

10) Love is a place & through this place of love move (with brightness of peace) all places.

Through this EE Cummings love poem ‘Love is a place’, Cummings shows us that love is yes, that place is the world, that through is in, that life is movement, and that brightness of peace is skilfully curled. Love is a place, that is, a meaningful space; love is a realm that does not yet exist but insists, and that can exist when it is lived—when all places exist in love.

11) If strangers meet, life begins - not poor, not rich (only aware).

This quote is from EE Cummings love poem 'If strangers meet' the fleetingness and sense of chance pervade the title of the poem, reminding us of the rarity of humanity recognising itself in others. The poem is about a chance encounter between two people who cross paths with no previous knowledge of each other, feeling an arbitrary connection that is not fully understood.

12) It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.

This quote sums up the difference between growing up and growing into who you are. It does take courage to grow up and become who you are in a society that wants so badly to form us in The way it wants.

13) Listen: there's a hell of a good universe next door; let's go.

Here, the next-door refers to the afterlife. The poet thinks that the afterlife may be better than the real world because everything wouldn't be about science and technology. 

14) Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit.

Here, EE Cummings quotes about a critical step on the path of success -Believing in yourself. Be your own best cheerleader and encourage yourself to believe in yourself.

15) I'd rather have two good friends, than 500,000 admirers. 

In this, he quotes about the importance of having fewer friends, but best friends. It is not about the number of friends you have but the quality of friends you keep yourself surrounded.

16) A world of made is not a world of born.

Here, this statement states the contrast of the natural world and the artificial world. The poem says that science and technology have ruined humanity. The technology has ruined the natural world and has gotten this world lazy, which makes it no longer inhabitant. 

17)  The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.

Through this, he quotes that life is so much better when each day has laughed and without the laughter, is the day wasted. One can never have too many hugs or laugh!

18)  Equality is what does not exist among mortals.

This EE Cummings quote is relevant in the current time. When we talk of equality, we mean general and fair equality and not absolute equality. It's about the distribution of opportunities and not an equal reward for all.

19) Progress is a comfortable disease; your victim (death and life safely beyond). 

In his poem 'Pity this busy monster' Cummings talks about how he is revolted with humankind because everything is almost manufactured and humanity is so used to trying to progress that he doesn't have time for anything else. 

20) I do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens; only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses.

Cummings is renowned for his love poetry, and among his best love poems is 'SOMEWHERE I HAVE NEVER TRAVELLED GLADLY BEYOND'. EE Cummings quotes from this poetry expresses the profound feelings the narrator can experience due to his precious, like a pleasant journey to the unknown.

21) Love is the whole and more than all.

Love is the whole means that love is a combination of passion and doom. Some people think he meant that love as a whole (both love and destruction)  is more significant than love or destruction by themselves. The quote is from the poem EE Cummings read at his father's funeral. One might assume that his love for his father became more extraordinary than any other emotion now that his father has passed.

22) Honor the past, but welcome the future.

In this, EE Cummings has quoted the most needed life lesson. Extend your arms and welcome the future. The best is yet to come!

23) Twice I have lived forever in a smile.

The quote is the punchline from his poem about love and the truth that lovers know and the smiles they share.

24) Knowledge is a polite word for dead but not buried imagination.

Essentially, he quotes that the mind is capable of imagining anything. Only when the fact is known it does kill the imagination. However, although the (need for)  imagination is then dead, the fact remains so is thus not buried.

25) We do not believe in ourselves until someone reveals that deep inside us something is valuable, worth listening to, worthy of our trust, sacred to our touch. Once we believe in ourselves we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight or any experience that reveals the human spirit.

If you don't believe in yourself and see yourself as a winner, you can not perform as a winner. Believe in yourself!

26) Always the beautiful answer who asks a more beautiful question.

Most of the EE Cummings quotes often talked about love, and such is this one which says that the person who asks a beautiful question somehow is or becomes the beautiful answer. The beautiful answer is not an idea, a plan, a concept, or a strategy but a person.

27) Life is an old man carrying flowers on his head.
young death sits in a café
smiling, a piece of money held between
his thumb and first finger

The above EE Cummings life quotes are from the famous poem 'Suppose,' which offers a unique metaphor of Life and death and the inevitable fear. The beauty of a poem is the message can be interpreted; however, we like it.

28) You shall above all things be glad and young. For if you’re young, whatever life you wear.

Here, EE Cummings life quotes that learning is also more valuable than teaching, and youth is a space where ‘anything goes,’ as succinctly and poetically expresses the importance of education.

29) Women and men (both dong and ding) summer autumn winter spring reaped their sowing and went their came sun moon stars rain.

Cummings indeed uses the avenue of structure to his advantage by giving the reader much more than the ordinary. Here, the quote is from the poem 'Anyone lived in pretty how town,' capturing the ordinariness of the life of the man named anyone who lives in an average town, gets married to no one and eventually dies. Cummings' trademark makes it sound as if 'anyone' is unloved. But there is a world of difference between the women and men' car[ing]' for anyone not at all.

30) To be nobody-but-yourself-in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody but yourself means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight, and never stop fighting.

Through this, he tells that one of the major factors of being yourself is accepting who you are, as you are. There is nothing as important as maintaining your originality. If there is any way or anything that harms your individuality, you should fight it and revolt against it.

Respecting the poet's way of writing, the grammar of deviations is inseparable from his poetry. It is one with his style, the words running together or suddenly breaking apart, the type spilling like a liquid from one line to the next has been kept in mind while writing this article.

Cummings, who lived during both World Wars, saw many negative aspects of humanity and existence and even sought them out. Readers often receive 'Validation' after reading the poems by EE Cummings.  Often when reading grammar that doesn't come easily, our mind goes into a loop. And that's what happens while reading cummings words. 

Some of the EE Cummings quotes are to be read thrice. Cummings' use of punctuation at times seemed haphazard. Still, often while reading one of his poems, suddenly it becomes clear why he used a particular bit of punctuation in his incorrect way.

If you've read all of these, you will find the answer to your questions!

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Nashrah Ansari

I am passionate about writing and love reading poems and novels. Apart from that, I also love getting lost in fictional worlds, for a while since I don't have to deal with my dilemmas. I firmly believe that every upcoming writer should be allowed to represent themselves. I’m so thankful to feeding trends for allowing me to express myself.

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