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E E Cummings Quotes For the Poet in All of You

These e e cummings quotes will inspire you to believe in yourself, love, and life.

Edward Estlin Cummings, or as we all know him, e e cummings was a poet and author during the WWI era. His father was a professor at Harvard, and his mother spent most of her time playing games with him and his sister. His parents were supportive of his writings from this early age.

As he matured, his writing took on the views of a transcendentalist (as you can see in these e e cummings quotes) or someone who believes in the inherent goodness of people. Transcendentalists pay great attention to the relationship between nature and the self. 

Often thought of as a parallel to Unitarianism (which is how he was raised) it makes sense that you can see both views in his work. He was an ambulance driver in WWI and didn’t show much enthusiasm for the war. Eventually, he was arrested by the French because they believed him to be a spy.

Edward Estlin Cummings the Poet

His novel, The Enormous Room, draws on his prison experience. It didn’t curb his love of Paris, though, as he visited many times during his life. He wrote about believing in yourself, love, and life in a uniquely e e cummings way. 

Don’t forget to also check out these Robert Frost quotes on poetry, love, and life.

E. E. cummings quotes about believing in and being yourself

1. “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.” ― e e cummings

2. “Once we believe in ourselves we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit.” ― e e cummings

3. “It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” ― e e cummings

4. “For whatever we lose (like a you or a me), It’s always our self we find in the sea.” ― e e cummings

5. “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.” ― e e cummings

6. “To be nobody, but yourself in a world that is doing its best day and night to make you like everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight and never stop fighting.” ― e e cummings

7. “A poet is somebody who feels, and who expresses his feelings through words. This may sound easy. It isn’t.” ― e e cummings

E. E. Cummings quotes about love

8. “Trust your heart if the seas catch fire, live by love, though the stars walk backward.” ― e e cummings

9. “Lovers alone wear sunlight.” ― e e cummings

10. “Unless you love someone, nothing else makes sense.” ― e e cummings

11. “Love is the voice under all silences, the hope which has no opposite in fear; the strength so strong mere force is feebleness: the truth more first than sun, more last than star.” ― e e cummings

12. “Love is thicker than forget; thinner than recall; more seldom than a wave is wet; more frequent than to fail.” ― e e cummings

13. “Be of love (a little) more careful than everything.” ― e e cummings

14. “Yours is the light by which my spirit’s born: you are my sun, my moon, and all my stars.” ― e e cummings

15. “One’s not half of two; two are halves of one.” ― e e cummings

16. “And now you are and I am and, and we’re a mystery which will never happen again.” ― e e cummings

17. “It takes two to be serious.” ― e e cummings

E. E. Cummings quotes about knowledge and intelligence

18. “I’d rather learn from one bird how to sing than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance.” ― e e cummings

19. “Knowledge is a polite word for dead but not buried imagination.” ― e e cummings

20. “Laughing is just another way of showing people your wise.” ― e e cummings

21. “Now the ears of my ears are awake, and now the eyes of my eyes are opened.” ― e e cummings

22. “Kisses are a better fate than wisdom.” ― e e cummings

23. “An intelligent person fights for lost causes, realizing that others are merely effects.” ― e e cummings

24. “Humanity, I love you because when you’re hard up; you pawn your intelligence to buy a drink.” ― e e cummings

25. “May my heart always be open to little birds who are the secrets of living.” ― e e cummings

26. “Great men burn bridges before they come to them.” ― e e cummings

If you enjoyed this article, read our collection of Rumi quotes on life, love and strength that will inspire you.

27. “A good book has no ending.” ― e e cummings

28. “A wind has blown the rain away and the sky away and all the leaves away, and the trees stand. I think I, too, have known autumn too long.” ― e e cummings

Some of the most inspirational E. E. Cummings quotes

29. “Listen: there’s a hell of a good universe next door; let’s go.” ― e e cummings

30. “The snow doesn’t give a soft white damn whom it touches.” ― e e cummings

31. “The three saddest things are: the ill wanting to be well, the poor wanting to be rich, and the constant traveler saying ‘anywhere but here.’” ― e e cummings

32. “You are whatever a moon has always meant, and whatever a sun is, will always sing to you.” ― e e cummings

33. “She may be going to Hell, of course, but at least she isn’t standing still.” ― e e cummings

34. “Most people are perfectly afraid of silence.” ― e e cummings

35. “Deeds cannot dream what dreams can do.” ― e e cummings

36. “Nobody loses all the time.” ― e e cummings

37. “Because you aren’t afraid to kiss the dirt (and consequently dare to climb the sky).” ― e e cummings

38. “Exists no miracle mightier than this, to feel.” ― e e cummings

Some of the strangest E. E. Cummings quotes

39. “Unbeing dead isn’t being alive.” ― e e cummings

40. “I will take the sun in my mouth and leap into the ripe air alive with closed eyes to dash against darkness.” ― e e cummings

41. “The world is mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful.” ― e e cummings

42. “Leaning back in my arms. For life’s not a paragraph. And death, I think, is no parenthesis.” ― e e cummings

43. “Twice I have lived forever in a smile.” ― e e cummings

44. “The moon rattles like a fragment of angry candy.” ― e e cummings

45. “Because only the truest things always are true because they can’t be true.” ― e e cummings

46. “If a poet is anybody, he is somebody to whom things made matter very little – somebody who is obsessed by creating.” ― e e cummings

47. “When skies are hanged, and oceans drowned, the single secret will still be man.” ― e e cummings

48. “As small as a world, as large as alone.” ― e e cummings

49. “Really unreal world. Will you perhaps do the breathing for me while I am away?” ― e e cummings

50. “Children are apt to forget to remember.” ― e e cummings

What did you learn from these E. E. Cummings quotes?

Cummings’ writings were unique in that he used a varied style. He often combined sonnets, free verse, and slant poetry.

He made up how his own compound words, and some of them, are simply lovely! My favorites are: mudlicious and hypermagical.

Cummings used grammar “errors,” like decapitalizing his name, to set himself apart from other writers. He often would leave the ‘i’ in lowercase to express humility.

He also used line breaks and other typographical tools to create a distinct look for his work. His work was designed to be read, hence the heavy use of the typography choices.

What’s your biggest takeaway from these e e cummings quotes and lines? What is your favorite e e cummings poem? Let me know in the comment section below!

Danielle Dahl, Lead Contributor
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