A in his early youth, Cummings' disillusion upon his trip to the Soviet Union in 1931, documented in , led him to shift rightward on many political and social issues. Despite his radical and public image, he was a and, later, an ardent supporter of .
Born into a family, Cummings exhibited leanings his entire life. As he grew in maturity and age, Cummings moved more toward an relationship with God. His journals are replete with references to “le bon Dieu” as well as prayers for inspiration in his poetry and artwork (such as “Bon Dieu! may I some day do something truly great. amen.”). Cummings "also prayed for strength to be his essential self ('may I be I is the only prayer--not may I be great or good or beautiful or wise or strong'), and for relief of spirit in times of depression ('almighty God! I thank thee for my soul; & may I never die spiritually into a mere mind through disease of loneliness')."
Cummings: A Collection of Critical Essays; Friedman, Norman, E
Cummings was married briefly twice. Cummings' first marriage, to Elaine Orr, began as a love affair in 1918 while she was married to , one of Cummings' friends from Harvard. The affair produced a daughter, Nancy, born on December 20, 1919. Nancy was Cummings' only child. After divorcing Thayer, Elaine married Cummings on March 19, 1924. However, the marriage ended after two months and they were divorced less than nine months later. Elaine left Cummings for a wealthy Irish banker, moved to , and took Nancy with her. Under the terms of the divorce Cummings was granted custody of Nancy for three months each year, but Elaine refused to abide by the agreement. Cummings did not see his daughter again until 1946.
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In 1952, his , Harvard, awarded Cummings an honorary seat as a guest professor. The he gave in 1952 and 1955 were later collected as i: six nonlectures.
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Cummings' talent extended to children's books, novels, and painting. A notable example of his versatility is an he wrote for a collection of the .
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In his final year at Harvard, Cummings was influenced by writers such as and . He delivered a controversial commencement address to his graduating class entitled "The New Art". This speech gave him his first taste of notoriety, as he managed to give the false impression that the well-liked poet, , whom he himself admired, was "abnormal". For this, Cummings was chastised in the newspapers. In 1917, Cummings' first published poems appeared in a collection of poetry entitled .
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Many of Cummings' poems are satirical and address social issues (see "why must itself up every of a park", above), but have an equal or even stronger bias toward romanticism: time and again his poems celebrate love, sex, and the season of rebirth (see "anyone lived in a pretty how town" in its entirety).
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Some of Cummings' most famous poems do not involve much, if any, odd typography or punctuation, but still carry his unmistakable style, particularly in unusual and impressionistic word order. For example, the aptly titled "" begins: