News, Notes, and Correspondence
[Spring 10 (2001): 203-205]
- December 24-27, 1999 — Mike Webster sent us a tape of British
old-time folk musician Martin Carthy's setting of "All in green went my
love riding," and of David Dzubay's settings of seven Cummings poems
for soprano and 6
instruments. Dzubay is Associate Professor of Music at Indiana
- On August 7, 2000, Maryette Charlton sent us a copy of the
Museum of American Art Calendar containing a lovely photo by Edward
of Marion Morehouse modeling a white fur-trimmed wrap from Vogue, April
- On September 3, 2000, John Ordeman sent us the following quote
a review: "Incapable of true poetical originality, [the poet] had the
cleverness to invent a literary trick, and the shrewdness to stick to
it." Comments John,
"The poet referred to was not Cummings but Walt Whitman. It's from an
issue of Contemporary Review."
- Poet William Jay Smith was one of the speakers at a memorial
to Karl Shapiro (19 13-2000), September 14, 2000, at the American
Academy of Arts and Letters in NYC.
- Virginia Spencer Carr gave a talk on Paul Bowles at the
of Delaware Library, October 10, 2000, on the occasion of the
of Bowles's papers and manuscripts.
- Someone on the on-line auction site EBay with the e-mail address
firstname.lastname@example.org (6131), offered for sale a matted print portrait
a person identified as Cummings in a cowboy hat and holding a
ostensibly as he appeared in 1920. Sale apparently ended November 20,
Those of us who knew the poet cannot recognize the likeness, nor is
is legible as his signature anything like Cummings' actual signature.
further compound the mystery, Michael Webster reports that this
was reproduced in a 1993 "Literary Companion Engagement Calendar"
by the Library of Congress. What Friedman has taken for a signature is
a notation in a later hand: "Cummings No. 2."
- In the Fall of 2000 Thierry Gillyboeuf published his bilingual
edition of 50 Poèmes, Le Taillis Pré, Belgium,
with an Introduction and Notes. He kindly dedicated this volume to your
editor. His translation of 73 Poems is scheduled for June
2001. He is also working with Jacques
Demarcq on i: six nonlectures, and with Demarcq and
Alfandary on EIMI. [end page 203]
- On March 2, 2001, Cecily Miller, Director of the Forest Hills
Educational Trust in Boston, e-mailed us as follows:
I have just started working at the Forest Hills Educational Trust in
Our mission is to develop public programs exploring the unique
art and history of Forest Hills Cemetery, one of the original garden
in New England. ee cummings (sic!) is buried here, and I would like to
an afternoon program celebrating his life and his accomplishments. I
wondering if you know any people in the Boston/Cambridge area who would
interested in contributing their ideas and energy to conceptualizing
organizing such an event, or be an interesting speaker for a general
I would appreciate any help you can give me, or any other resources
you can point me towards. Thank you!
- Yasuo Fujitomi informed us on March 21 that he was invited to
at the 11th International Poetry Festival of Medellin, Colombia, June
1-10, 2000. His talk was on Japanese short poems, visual poetry, and
- One of our staunchest supporters and contributors, Antonio Ruiz
Sanchez of Cordoba, Spain, was married on March 23. He and his wife
Charo spent their
honeymoon travelling across Morocco.
- Nancy Porter-Steele emailed us from Canada on March 26 about "a
recent delightful use of Cummings' poems in teaching":
As part of training people who are going to work with
others, most of them as psychotherapists but some also in other
situations, Curtis and I and our colleagues, calling ourselves EastWind
Institute, have created a program that brings together some excellent
teaching and practice from Shambhala
Buddhist training, and some excellent teaching and practice from
psychotherapy. Recently we had one of our week-long intensives, and I
the joyful and difficult assignment to teach about some of the
of mind which are uncovered through extensive practice of
mindfulness-insight meditation. I was to teach, on a Thursday in
mid-March, about the qualities of exertion and patience, how they are
associated with freedom from hope and
fear, the non-aggression of not over- or under-reacting to our
experience and continuing our self-existing journey with a light touch.
And also, steadiness—balance
and flexibility, even tempered yet colorful; riding the mind; humor
a fresh start. And, to be sure, love for the journey—non-struggle; pain
pleasure awaken liveliness; heart free from resentment and expectation;
never tire of being good students.
These qualities can't really be told in prose. I decided
poetry would do it. And, I selected fifteen of his poems to read, one
more [end page 204] for each of the main categories of the
above), as the way to accomplish the teaching. What a success!
The group sat in meditation, as we normally do, for an hour
the "talk" began. Thus everyone's mind was settled and open to some
extent. Then away we went, beginning with "since feeling is first."
People asked for
some poems to be read twice, and after each poem there was time / space
speaking the feelings and thoughts that were arising. When I had
finished, with "may my heart always be open to little," one person
suggested that the
group create a poem, whoever wished speaking a line.
At lunch later, one of our colleagues said "We're all in our
brains." Yes, yes. Cummings did it.
- George Held informed us in his letter of April 9 that his new
of poems, Beyond Renewal, is slated for publication in summer
- Jack Gottlieb wrote us on April 26 to announce the May 9th
performance of his song cycle, "yes is a pleasant country" (CP 578), in
- On May 2, 2001, we received a copy of the "Manhattan Poetry
Map," published by Poets House. No. 28 on this map is listed as "4
Patchin Place—E. E. Cummings,
the Lost Generation Poet, lived here from 1923 until his death in 1962,
daily to Washington Square Park, where he would sketch in his
On May, we wrote to Ms. Lee Ellen Bricetti, Poets House Executive
as follows: "I was pleased to receive the 'Manhattan Poetry Map'
but I want to express my disagreement with the description therein of
as 'the Lost Generation Poet.' Of course, it is true that, like the
Hemingway, he had some terrible and debilitating experiences during
as an ambulance driver in Europe during World War I, but it is not true
he came out of those experiences, as Hemingway's characters did, in a
state of disillusionment, as Hemingway's quote from Gertrude Stein
indicate. Yes, it is true that Cummings took an anti-war stance
but he never lost his faith in love and spring and life—something his
say he could have used less of. And to say that Hemingway was
by war is quite double-edged, as he kept seeking out and joining wars
wherever they could be found."
We received her postcard reply, postmarked May 8 / 9: "Thank you so
for your considered and illuminating recent letter regarding
e.e.cummings [even she!] If (and when) we reprint the map, there are
many quotable lines in your text! Thank you."
dark beginnings are his
—E. E. Cummings (CP 420)
[end page 205]
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