Last Updated on July 29, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 197
In the decade before cummings wrote “somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond,” another avant-garde artistic movement, surrealism, gained force. Surrealist Painters and Poets (2001), edited by Mary Ann Caws, offers a good introduction to the works of surrealist painters and poets from this era, including some rare letters and essays that are hard to find elsewhere.
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Although cummings is best known for his poetry, he also wrote other works, including Eimi (1933), a travel diary of his trip to the Soviet Union in 1931. Up until that point, cummings had been a supporter of communism but changed his views after witnessing the Soviet dictatorship that masqueraded as a communist government. The book is a scathing review of the Soviet Union and its policies.
Cummings’s eccentric, experimental style was evident in his first poetry collection, Tulips and Chimneys (1923). While the initial reviews of the collection were mixed, many recognized cummings’s poetic talent even at this early stage in his career.
The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry (1999), edited by Alan Kaufman and S. A. Griffin, is a wide-ranging anthology of avant-garde and experimental American poetry from the 1950s to today. Selections include works from more than two hundred poets.