Page proof for "r-p-o-p-h-e-s-s-a-g-r"
(CP 396; No Thanks 13)

Cummings sent this corrected proof sheet of the poem to his Brazilian translator, Augusto de Campos. In addition to writing and typing marginal comments, Cummings has typed a correctly-spaced version below the Brazilian printer's typeset version. At the top of the proof sheet Cummings notes that "this poem has a righthand margin as well as a left," but the system of elaborate spatial alignments exists only to be broken:  the "S" of "leA!p:S" and the "a" of "arrIvIng" lie outside the left and right margins, respectively. The end of the grasshopper's leap and the beginning of its arrival cannot be contained within the formal boundaries of the poem.

The two notes in red pencil at the bottom read: "(r under OR" and "Note this alignment: to under -r."
(Used by permission--scanned from a reproduction in 40  POEM(A)S. 2nd. ed. Trans. Augusto de Campos, São Paulo: Brasilense, 1986: p. 128.)


See more drafts and page proofs of "r-p-o-p-h-e-s-s-a-g-r" on Aaron Moe's "Drafts from No Thanks" page (scroll down) at the Cummings Archive.

Further Reading:

Huang-Tiller, Gillian. "One Art: Intuition and Typography in E. E. Cummings' Original Analysis of 'r-p-o-p-h-e-s-s-e-g-r' (1935)." Spring: The Journal of the E. E. Cummings Society 20 (2013): 110-115. 

Kilyovski, Vakrilen. "The Nude, the Grasshopper, and the Poet-Painter: A Reading of E. E. Cummings' 'r-p-o-p-h-e-s-s-a-g-r'." Spring: The Journal of the E. E. Cummings Society 20 (2013): 99-109. 

Nänny, Max. "Iconic Dimensions in Poetry." On Poetry and Poetics. Ed. Richard Waswo. Tübingen: Gunter Narr Verlag, 1985. [Swiss Papers in English Language and Literature 2 (1985): 111-35.] [See On "r-p-o-p-h-e-s-s-a-g-r" at the MAPS site.] 

Webster, Michael. "Plotting the Evolution of a r-p-o-p-h-e-s-s-a-g-r." Spring: The Journal of the E. E. Cummings Society 20 (2013): 116-143.

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