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E.E. Cummings’ Letters on Exhibit at Poets House

By Harriet Staff

In further exhibition news… From DNAinfo:

E.E. Cummings wrote letters the same way he wrote poetry — with a playful style that freely ignored the rules of punctuation and grammar.

Three of Cummings’ letters — which have never been shown publicly — just went on display at Poets House in Battery Park City as part of an exhibit about Poets House founder and poetry advocate Elizabeth Kray.

In one letter he wrote in 1958, Cummings jocularly wrote to Kray, who worked as his agent, “Shame shame & tripleshame on lessthanworthless me for letting you quite so irrevocably triumph over the utterlyAndHowdefeated undersigned!!!”

In an August 1962 letter, Cummings complained about the summer heat and told Kray she ought to be “drawn&atleasthalved” for enjoying urban air-conditioning while Cummings was stuck in un-air-conditioned rural New Hampshire.

“This is amazing stuff from E.E. Cummings,” said Lee Briccetti, executive director of Poets House. “He wrote his letters like he wrote his poems — all spaced together. It’s so charming.”

“Bettissima: Treasures from the Elizabeth Kray Archives,” which takes its title from Cummings’ nickname for Kray, also includes Kray’s correspondence with W.H. Auden, T.S. Eliot, Galway Kinnell and other poetic luminaries, with documents spanning from the 1950s to the 1980s.

Read the rest here.

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Posted in Poetry News on Tuesday, July 10th, 2012 by Harriet Staff.