a tribute to e e cummings

No, I didn’t fall off the grammar and punctuation wagon. This is a tribute to an author and poet who inspired me and revolutionized my way of writing.


When I was growing up in the sixties and seventies, there were rules; especially in English. And you HAD to follow them. These are just some of them.


Always capitalize the first word in a sentence and proper nouns.

Don’t (oops) Do not ever, ever use contractions – except within quotation marks.

Never start a sentence with “and.”

Never start a sentence with “but.”

Never, never start a sentence with “because.”


These are just some of the rules.


In high school, some of my classmates knew I enjoyed writing. I was given a book by e e cummings. I had never heard of him until then. I began to read.


Wow! The book I had didn’t have any punctuation or capital letters. None. Nadda. His poems ran all together. I loved it! Was this guy crazy or a genius? I decided on a crazy genius. I was impressed.


I wanted to know what this genius had to say. The problem with his poems is that there were no periods so you didn’t know where one thought began and one ended. You didn’t always know what his intention was. This was brilliantly frustrating. I can’t honestly say his poems are my favorites, because I like to know what’s going on. But…. Do you always have to know? The beauty of his poems is that he’s not telling you how to interpret it. He’s letting you decide for yourself. Awesome. Amazing.


I slowly began to change the way I wrote. First, with my poetry. Later, I worked it into my stories – just a little. I’ve found a happy balance in my writing. When I look back to some things I wrote as a kid, they were a little rigid in form. I was following the rules I was taught. I still use grammar and punctuation because it does help convey to the reader what your intentions are and what you’re trying to say. However, I now have the freedom to do what I want. if i dont want to use punctuation i dont have to and you cant make me so there


i hope you enjoyed what i wrote check out some of his poems for kicks and giggles im sure youll like em.



2 Thoughts

  1. What a beautiful tribute. Since, english is my second language I still find myself using but and and in the beginning of my sentence and then have to remind myself to correct it. As always enjoyed reading your blog 😊


  2. Traditionally, you shouldn’t use ‘but’ in the beginning of a sentence. But, you can if you want to. That’s our poetic license. Thank you for the compliment and for your support. It’s appreciated.


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