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Textual Fluidity, or Why We Need to Acknowledge Poetry Books in Multiple Versions

Teaching E. E. Cummings’ No Thanks

Isabelle Alfandary

Résumés

La lecture d’un recueil de poèmes moderniste tel que No Thanks (1935) d’E. E. Cummings est transformée par ce qu’on pourrait prendre pour des modifications mineures dans la présentation du livre, comme la présence ou l’absence d’une introduction, ou des changements de nature typographique. De simples décisions éditoriales peuvent en réalité s’avérer décisives dans l’expérience de lecture. Cet article examine les conditions matérielles qui déterminent la réception d’E. E. Cummings dans le contexte pédagogique de la salle de classe et au-delà, dans la mesure où son écriture poétique est fondée sur des jeux visuels et grammaticaux.

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  • 1 On Cummings and the notion of “ungrammar,” see Fairley and Alfandary 2007.

1In his poems, E. E. Cummings tends to space out and split words and clauses across the page. Readers leafing through his poetry books soon realize that ungrammaticality can to some extent be acknowledged as an essential feature of his poetry, or at least the cause of poetic emotion. Not only does poetic language essentially differ from ordinary language—as stylisticians and grammarians have tried to demonstrate—but the poetic line by definition also interrupts the linearity of speech, contradicting and thwarting the continuity and consistency of the sentence. Far from disregarding classical prosody, however, Cummings in fact exploits the potentialities of the poetic form and plays on linguistic and typographical differences, either maximizing or minimalizing them—as is the case with the persona of Cummings’ poems that is always spelled in lower case—dramatizing ungrammaticality in what I would like to call a poetic economy of the mark. Whenever I teach Cummings’ poetry, I try to show that ungrammaticality can be regarded as a strategy of renewal of American poetry.1

2While many of his fellow poets either suppressed or neglected typography, Cummings the “lowercase” poet—as William Carlos Williams once famously called him (20)—focused his attention on the printed book and its minor concerns, negligible devices and local phenomena. In doing so, however, he achieved a poetic revolution, one that might best be described as speculative, in that his grammar both reflects language and reflects upon language. To renew the canon, Cummings does not so much concern himself with poetic diction or imagery—and this is probably what surprises students most when they are first confronted with Cummings’ poems: they suddenly realize that one can be a poet without ever resorting to metaphors. His poetry does not mean to come up with new poetic images but rather with moving syntactical and typographical devices and set-ups. Even his lexical innovations and word-creation techniques are derived from his grammar so that one might rightly argue that Cummings’ poetic revolution is neither thematic nor metaphorical but rather grammatical. Instead of focusing on what can be said, Cummings astutely starts out wondering how to display words on the page and print them out. As a complement to previous reflections on the linguistic, aesthetic and lyrical implications of Cummings’ “ungrammar”—a word coined by the poet in his notes and taken up by Irene Fairley in her study entitled E. E. Cummings and Ungrammar (1975)—let me address in what follows the question of teaching a modernist collection of poems in order to show and share Cummings’ grammar of lyrical agrammaticality.

How Format Affects Reading

3The following remarks are based on my pragmatic experience as a teacher of American poetry. I have taught the same book of poetry at different periods of my teaching career relying on different versions of the text. The teaching experience I am referring to involved groups of third-year students as well as graduates. Teaching Cummings to undergraduate and graduate students has proved particularly gratifying for my critical exploration and understanding of his poetry. It has taught me how much the very structure and format of the edition used in class determine and affect the students’ reading. This may perhaps be said of any poetry book, but in the case of Cummings’ 1935 modernist collection No Thanks, the editorial issues proved decisive for the pedagogical process.

  • 2 The various pages included in this article are reproductions from the 1935 manuscript, as featured (...)

4The particular context of publication of No Thanks should be briefly recalled here: the sixth book of poems Cummings composed was originally untitled and contained fifty of the seventy-one poems eventually published under the title No Thanks. This original collection of fifty poems was sent to the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation in February 1934 as part of Cummings’ activity report composed while holding a fellowship the previous year in this institution. The collection was eventually entitled No Thanks (fig. 1) after the manuscript had been turned down by the fourteen different publishing houses whose names appear on the second page of the published book, fourteen names listed on the page in the form of a Romantic urn (fig. 2).2

Figure 1. Title page of E. E. Cummings’ 1935 No Thanks. Reproduced in Complete Poems 1904-1962, ed. George J. Firmage (New York: Liveright, 1991)

Figure 2. Dedication page of E. E. Cummings’ 1935 No Thanks. Reproduced in Complete Poems 1904-1962, ed. George J. Firmage (New York: Liveright, 1991)

Figure 3. Last page of E. E. Cummings’ 1935 No Thanks. Reproduced in Complete Poems 1904-1962, ed. George J. Firmage (New York: Liveright, 1991)

5The title of the book itself, No Thanks, is based on an intratextual game that only careful readers will notice. While “No Thanks” is addressed to the fourteen shameful publishers who refused Cummings’ book, the last page of the book (fig. 3) bears the syntagm “And Thanks to R.H.C,” expressing gratitude to his mother (Rebecca Haswell Cummings) who financially contributed so that the book could be published. Interestingly, No Thanks was a self-published book which turned out to be one of Cummings’ most seminal and inventive poetic works.

6The reason why the book was rejected by major publishers in the early thirties is easy to grasp as No Thanks proves a highly experimental and unconventional book of poems to this very day. As critic Richard Kennedy wrote in his 1998 introduction to the book, it “contains more linguistic experiments and more obscurities than any volume Cummings ever produced” (x)—a fact that will become apparent to any student or general reader browsing through its pages. Kennedy’s remark still stands some two decades later: readers of No Thanks are still very much disconcerted and even baffled today by the layout and shape of Cummings’ poems.

7So much in Cummings’ poetry ultimately depends on the editorial modalities through which its readers are exposed to—and first encounter—the poetic text. The slightest visual impression always makes a huge difference in the case of Cummings’ poetry, whose entire lyrical matrix is based on the decapitalization of the first person singular. A Cummings scholar theoretically knows what the teaching experience of No Thanks has proved to me pedagogically: that the editorial presentation of the book radically determines and deeply affects the reading experience, and that the editorial presentation has a minuscule (hence, in Cummings’ case—due to his idiosyncratic typographical equation—a most powerful) impact on the reception of the poems.

A Recapitalized Editorial Logic

8One aspect that makes a huge difference is the presence or absence of an introduction to the book of poems. What can be understood as a mere editorial option proves decisive in the reading experience. The choice of publishing the text without an introduction, which certainly was E. E. Cummings’ original decision when the book originally came out as a self-published piece, first leaves the readers disconcerted, enabling them to eventually make sense of the poetic text and experience.

9The latest editions of No Thanks, dating back to 1978 and 1998 respectively, both have an introduction. The 1998 edition has an augmented introduction which, one must hasten to say, is very pertinent if not illuminating on some structural aspects. One of Cummings’ finest scholars, Richard Kennedy, who spent a lot of time examining the poet’s papers kept at the Houghton Library, which holds Harvard’s rare book collection, and at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center Library in Austin, Texas, accounts in his introduction for an otherwise invisible pattern of the book (xi) and draws attention to aspects that enable a more acute and richer comprehension of Cummings’ formal games in No Thanks: “When we do, we become aware of two distinct aspects of No Thanks: the pattern in which the poems are arranged and the highly individual view of life that the totality of the work reveals” (Kennedy x). This most excellent descriptive and interpretive presentation yet deprives the reader—and certainly deprived some of my students—of a form of wild and innocent exposure to Cummings’ poems. I will argue here that Cummings’ so-called decapitalized logic is somehow recapitalized by the inclusion of an introduction. However fine and highly valuable the critical input may be, it nevertheless suspends and delays the moment of immediate confrontation to the poems which it helps to mediatize and naturalize—and eventually neutralize. This of course is reassuring to the students and certainly to the teachers of poetry who will be comforted in their approach and interpretations. Yet the presence of an introduction to the book, situated by definition prior to the poems themselves, is not without consequences and poses a series of problems that I would like to briefly state and address.

10First of all, the No Thanks title pun is at least temporarily interrupted and hence made incomprehensible by the interpolation of the text of the introduction. Secondly, in his rich introduction, Kennedy contextualizes and hence tries to elucidate the enigma of E. E. Cummings’ linguistic games before they actually take place: “Although E. E. Cummings’ No Thanks was published in 1935 in the middle of his career, the story of its appearance indicates that he was still far from achieving recognition as an important American writer” (ix).

11Kennedy goes on to list the reasons for Cummings’ publishing difficulties and accounts for the book’s structure just as if he was trying to redeem it as a whole. However illuminating and fitting it may be, the introduction literally stands in the way of the reading: what could be said of any preface to a literary text is probably even truer in the case of a book of poems like No Thanks, whose aesthetic of surprise is the gist of the poetic experience. An afterword would to that extent have proved more appropriate than a foreword which bars—by way of mediation—access to the poems. This negative side effect has certainly not been foreseen by the editor, nor by the publisher, and can probably only be figured out in retrospect, yet it radically transforms the nature of the relationship, of what Gérard Genette calls the “aesthetic relationship,” to the work, i.e. “bookofpoems.” The problem with the introduction is that it is explicative of what has not yet happened before the readers’ eyes, descriptive of what the readers have not yet had the time to notice. Because the reference to the funeral urn comes very soon, if not too soon, under Kennedy’s pen, it spoils the pun: “The declaration ‘No Thanks’ which Cummings placed at the beginning of the book lists the publishers who turned him down—their names arranged carefully to form the shape of a funeral urn” (x).

12Whenever I teach No Thanks out of the edition of the Complete Poems edited by George Firmage (also available in an electronic version), the students’ first impression is certainly more vivid than the one experienced by the students who read out of the more recent edition. Why is that so? Possibly because this edition is without a foreword. Going back to the previously published edition of 1978, the one I myself used and relied on for my master thesis, also edited and introduced by Richard Kennedy, I have come to realize that the difference feels somehow less perceptible and problematic than with the 1998 edition. How can this be? Paradoxically enough, the better (longer and richer) the introduction to Cummings’ book of poems is, the less intense the experience of the poems themselves becomes. As I was double-checking the editions for the sake of writing this paper, I remembered and noticed that in the 1978 version, editor George Firmage (who also put together Cummings’ Complete Poems) had been savvy enough to write an afterword instead of an introduction. I read again his one-page text that I had totally forgotten: Firmage seems to confine himself to the bare description of the trajectory of the manuscript. He does however give one indication that turns out to be far more interpretive than one might first be tempted to think:

The only other surviving manuscript of Cummings’ 1935 collection—a rearrangement with additions of an earlier sixty-nine poem version—is now in the Clifton Waller Barrett Library of the University of Virginia. This is the version that was typeset and published by the Golden Eagle Press on April 15 1935. […]

The first printing of No Thanks was unusual in that the texts of the poems were imposed parallel to the spine instead of perpendicular to it. This permitted the longest of the poems—numbers 4 and 60 in the current edition—to start at the top of a two-page spread and continue without interruption across the gutter of the book to the bottom, facing page. However, in order to do this, it became necessary to change the order of poems 4 and 5 and 59 and 60.

The present “Typescript edition” of No Thanks is the first complete version of the poet’s final manuscript to be published in its original order and the only separate printing of the book since its initial appearance forty-four years ago. The typography of the poems, which, as Cummings himself noted, cannot be “retranslate[d]…out of typewriter language into linotype-ese” follows the final manuscript exactly, as do the texts of all other poems except number 11 and 63. (Firmage 87-88)

13What distinguishes the 1978 edition from the 1998 one—beside the revised and augmented introduction by Richard Kennedy and slightly modified afterword by Firmage—is the change in book format: the 1978 edition was printed as a book of unusual size, while the more recent edition provides the reader with a book whose format has been standardized. For reasons I cannot quite explain, the only edition that respects the original format in which the “bookofpoems” first came out is the translation into French by Jacques Demarcq published by Nous éditions (Cummings 2011). And yet the format of the book must have mattered to a man and artist like E. E. Cummings, who thought of himself as “poet&painter” (Cohen 14) and crafted No Thanks to look and read like a sketchbook.

The Printed Mark

14Firmage reveals one more detail, even less conspicuous than the previous one and yet of colossal importance, a detail which the comparison between the two consecutive versions of his post-scripts led me to discover. The last paragraph of Firmage’s first “Afterword” (fig. 4), which mysteriously disappeared from the 1998 version, is of paramount importance to the reading: the 1978 edition is referred to as a “typescript” edition which had been designed in order to approach as much as possible the impression of the typewriter which Cummings worked on and liked best. The reason for the crossing out of this mention in the second version of the afterword can be easily elucidated: the typescript version of 1978 was replaced in the 1998 version and in the 1991 Complete Poems by a regular character font (fig. 1, 2, 3). However minor this change might sound, the feel of the poems of the 1998 edition profoundly differs from that of the 1978 one. This substitution leads to a considerable aesthetic loss, whose justification or even mention is nowhere to be found in the critical apparatus of the volume.

Figure 4. George J. Firmage’s original afterword to E. E. Cummings’ 1935 No Thanks. Ed. George J. Firmage (New York: Liveright, 1978)

15What I can now explicitly account for only felt like a vague impression until I could precisely pinpoint its cause. The latest 1998 version is less faithful to the original than the previous one, which already had somehow alienated itself from the first 1953 published version, probably due to technical or commercial motivations. These issues may sound anecdotal, yet these typographical details are what poetic impressions and sense are based upon in Cummings’ poetry. The unbridgeable gap between the poet’s typewriter and the published “bookofpoems” was certainly no minor concern to Cummings who, later in his poetic career, would seek the help of a personal typographer appointed by his regular publisher to work on the layout of the pages and graphic patterns of his collections of poems.

16Consequently, it appeared to me that teaching Cummings’ No Thanks should include a comparative study of the different editorial and typographical choices. If Cummings’ work on the physical mark, the linguistic sign, and their effects on meaning and on the English language at large make him the poet par excellence of Marshall McLuhan’s Gutenberg Galaxy, what eventually matters is not so much the truthfulness to Cummings’ aesthetic original decisions as the nature and conditions of Cummings’ reception by the students. The material, genetic and archival analyses are crucial only insofar as they inform the readers and help them sort out the poetic and semantic effects of poetic grammar and typography.

Reading No Thanks in the Classroom

17The pedagogical conclusion I have reached is that the students should be left alone with the poems in order to fully experience what happens in and to the language of Cummings’ poetry. It is only by facing the poems with as little mediation or preparation as possible that they will be able to figure out what they are dramatically confronted with. The reading of Cummings’ poetry and especially of No Thanks does not seem to require any specific critical or prosodic knowledge. The students get it right away and enjoy the experience, however disconcerting and baffling it may be. The understanding I have gathered from teaching No Thanks is that E. E. Cummings’ poems have a very strong speculative and hence pedagogical agency. The students get the feeling that they learn by themselves, that poetic language concretely teaches them quite abstract rules and tenets. The class will gain critical competence by exercising its mere reading faculty: the poems literally speak to the reader’s common sense. They teach them to be self-reliant and pragmatic in their reading decisions.

  • 3 “The linguistic signal, being auditory in nature, has a temporal aspect, and hence certain temporal (...)

18Let me exemplify what I am trying to argue by referring to a specific instance in No Thanks: take for example No Thanks poem 13, whose first line goes “r-p-o-p-h-e-s-s-a-g-r”—the so-called grasshopper poem (fig. 5)—where the poet seems to concretely, pragmatically speculate on the nature of the linguistic sign as defined by Ferdinand de Saussure in his Course. A sign, according to the father of modern linguistics, is not a mere addition of letters but a specific phonematic combination, the actual combination of an acoustic image and a concept. How does Cummings prove this point? He does so by resorting to a series of anagrams of the word “grasshopper” which are at first sight totally illegible. The careful reader will find in the penultimate line the key to the enigma: the line literally reads “rea(be)rran(com)gi(e)ngly” which can be translated back into “(rearrangingly become).” Contradicting Saussure’s second principle of the linearity of speech,3 Cummings paradoxically proves him right. A sign is not a sequence of letters whose order can be rearranged or misspelled. The reason why I am quoting this poem is that it is emblematic, if not paradigmatic, of many of Cummings’ poems where the reading strictly coincides with the interpretation. The cognitive problem that the poem poses will only be solved by a speculative and pragmatic decision on the part of the reader: he/she must read between and beyond the lines in order to sort out the phenomenological enigma by discovering its governing rule or principle.

Figure 5. Poem 13 in E. E. Cummings’ 1935 No Thanks. Reproduced in Complete Poems 1904-1962, ed. George J. Firmage (New York: Liveright, 1991)

19The exact same thing happens with Poem 9, “o pr” (fig. 6), a baseball poem based on a missing letter, the iconic letter “o,” which happens to be the first letter of the poem and be missing at the end of each line. The same reading discomfort and impossibility will trigger a comparable reader’s response: unless they realize and replace the missing letter, they will not be able to read the poem.

Figure 6. Poem 9 in E. E. Cummings’ 1935 No Thanks. Reproduced in Complete Poems 1904-1962, ed. George J. Firmage (New York: Liveright, 1991)

20The reading of No Thanks proves extremely valuable to the students: they acquire linguistic and interpretive skills by merely reading the poems, and eventually develop a critical sense of poetic reading by applying their capacity/incapacity to the poems themselves. What makes this “bookofpoems” so valuable is the variety of poetic experiments carried out by Cummings: No Thanks provides the reader with “typographical poems” as opposed to “syntactical poems” (Alfandary, 2002 23), alternating between poems that highlight the visual and legible nature of the linguistic sign, and poems that underline the syntactical agency of our understanding. Poem 29, “most(people” (fig. 7), instantiates the second syntactical kind: the declension of the modals gives rise to a sequence of different clauses and a constellation of potential meanings. The poet seems to be here resorting to linguistic forms as a painter would by dabbing in colors and hues.

Figure 7. Poem 29 in E. E. Cummings’ 1935 No Thanks. Reproduced in Complete Poems 1904-1962, ed. George J. Firmage (New York: Liveright, 1991)

Figure 8. Poem 63 in E. E. Cummings’ 1935 No Thanks. Ed. George J. Firmage (New York: Liveright, 1978)

21It is often the case that students will come up with abstract and yet fundamental questions pertaining to linguistic or prosodic issues that arise from the reading of the poems. One that struck me once as extremely apt was the following: does E. E. Cummings’ decapitalized and substitutive grammar shatter or reinforce English grammar? The question shows that the students in the class perfectly understood that E. E. Cummings does not reject syntax; on the contrary, he insists on the need to master one’s own language in order to deconstruct it. By disfiguring signs, dissolving rules, displacing conventions, E. E. Cummings’ poetry momentarily derails and eclipses syntax and the syntactic order at the same time: the English idiom is hence alienated on the page, and the poet’s mother tongue made to sound / look somewhat uncanny and yet eventually understandable. Students realize that syntax, as Cummings’ poems demonstrate, is more than just a means; it constitutes the raw material of an idiosyncratic poetic grammar.

Conclusion

22Let me briefly consider a remarkable instance of a typographic performance whose syntax is problematic. In the case of poem 63, the reader is faced with what I would call a “typographical poem.” Poem 63, “birds(“ (fig. 7), notably sparked Pierre Boulez’s interest since the French composer and director famously adapted it in a piece for orchestra and mixed chorus entitled Cummings ist der Dichter (1970). The words of the poem that are spelled out iconically delineate and register the birds’ grammatical motions that trigger poetic emotions: birds are literally “inventing” the air before our eyes, while the letters of the word seem to be discovering “air” as an attribute of the printed page. The visual space resounds with the muffled sound of voices which gradually disappear from the surface of the page: “whose voices are a.” The “blank” that ensues also reads metalinguistically: the last word of the poem is a missing word which the “blank” seems to iconically represent.

23Let me come back to Kennedy’s introduction: what the critic remarkably shows is that No Thanks is not just a collection of poems but a book of poetry that has an internal and meaningful logic, what he calls “a carefully planned order” (x). The question of the book’s structure is certainly decisive, yet examining it too early or too systematically, as I have tried to show, can prevent the students from undergoing certain poetic experiments, from being confronted with what Cummings calls “that precision which creates movement” (Cummings, 1991 221). As it turns out, Kennedy himself seems to experience trouble when trying to account for the whole as a well-organized pattern:

He was always uncritical about his published work and ready to include jokes, ephemeral epigrams, and private poems along with memorable lyrics and technically brilliant linguistic compositions. Since in this collection the doubtful items are found in the first half of the book, this placement in itself must have helped to discourage editors. Thus we can be grateful that the book got into print at all, so that we can now stand back from the work to see it as a whole, before we make discriminations among individual poems. (x)

24I would beg here to disagree with Richard Kennedy: I am not sure what he means by “the doubtful items”; furthermore, the book reads to me as an experimental collection of poems that certainly belong together but also constantly interrupt any idealized sense of continuity and consistency. Cummings’ poetics undercuts most of our reading expectations, including our wish for unity. What the poet seeks is not so much harmony and totality as a sense of disjunction and locality. If Kennedy’s analysis of the existence of a hidden “schema governing the book” (xi), according to which Cummings set up a pattern of three poems followed by a sonnet, is pedagogically useful and intellectually brilliant, we may still want to question our need and even compulsion to make sense of the diversity and discontinuity at stake in his most experimental book of poetry. Teaching No Thanks, I have grown more and more convinced that the 1935 collection of poems is not so much about what Richard Kennedy calls “Cummings’ view of life” (xii) as it is about Cummings’ experience of language and about what poetry can teach its self-taught readers.

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Bibliographie

ALFANDARY, Isabelle. E. E. Cummings ou la minuscule lyrique. Paris: Belin, 2002.

ALFANDARY, Isabelle. “Poetry as Ungrammar in E. E. Cummings’ Poems.” Modernism Revisited: Transgressing Boundaries and Strategies of Renewal in American Poetry. Eds. Viorica Patea and Paul Scott Derrick. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2007, p. 111-120.

COHEN, Milton A. Poet and Painter: The Aesthetics of E. E. Cummings’s Early Work. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1987.

CUMMINGS, E. E. No Thanks. 1935. New York: Liveright, 1978.

CUMMINGS, E. E. Complete Poems 1904-1962. Ed. George J. Firmage. New York: Liveright, 1991.

CUMMINGS, E. E. No Thanks. 1935. New York: Liveright, 1998. archive.org/details/nothanks00cumm/page/n1/mode/2up. Accessed 27 April 2024.

CUMMINGS, E. E. No Thanks. Translated from the English by Jacques Demarcq. Paris: Nous éditions, 2011.

FAIRLEY, Irene R. E. E. Cummings and Ungrammar: A Study of Syntactic Deviance in His Poems. Searingtown: Watermill Publishers, 1975.

FRIEDMAN, Norman. (Re)valuing Cummings: Further Essays on the Poet. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 1996.

FIRMAGE, George J. “Afterword.” No Thanks. 1978. New York: Liveright, 1998, p. 87-88.

GENETTE, Gérard. The Aesthetic Relation. Translated from the French by Geoffrey M. Goshgarian. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1997.

KENNEDY, Richard. “Introduction.” No Thanks. 1935. New York: Liveright, 1998, p. ix-xx.

MCLUHAN, Marshall. The Gutenberg Galaxy. New York: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1962.

SAUSSURE, Ferdinand (de). Course in General Linguistics. Translated from the French by Roy Harris. New York: Open Court Publishing, 2007.

WILLIAMS, William Carlos. “Lower Case Cummings.” Harvard Wake, no. V, Spring 1946, p. 20-23.

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Notes

1 On Cummings and the notion of “ungrammar,” see Fairley and Alfandary 2007.

2 The various pages included in this article are reproductions from the 1935 manuscript, as featured in E. E. Cummings’ Complete Poems 1904-1962, ed. George J. Firmage, New York: Liveright, 1991, p. 381-457.

3 “The linguistic signal, being auditory in nature, has a temporal aspect, and hence certain temporal characteristics: (a) it occupies a certain temporal space, and (b) this space is measured in just one dimension: it is the line” (Saussure 69-70).

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Table des illustrations

Légende Figure 1. Title page of E. E. Cummings’ 1935 No Thanks. Reproduced in Complete Poems 1904-1962, ed. George J. Firmage (New York: Liveright, 1991)
URL http://journals.openedition.org/transatlantica/docannexe/image/23107/img-1.png
Fichier image/png, 147k
Légende Figure 2. Dedication page of E. E. Cummings’ 1935 No Thanks. Reproduced in Complete Poems 1904-1962, ed. George J. Firmage (New York: Liveright, 1991)
URL http://journals.openedition.org/transatlantica/docannexe/image/23107/img-2.png
Fichier image/png, 360k
Légende Figure 3. Last page of E. E. Cummings’ 1935 No Thanks. Reproduced in Complete Poems 1904-1962, ed. George J. Firmage (New York: Liveright, 1991)
URL http://journals.openedition.org/transatlantica/docannexe/image/23107/img-3.png
Fichier image/png, 164k
Légende Figure 4. George J. Firmage’s original afterword to E. E. Cummings’ 1935 No Thanks. Ed. George J. Firmage (New York: Liveright, 1978)
URL http://journals.openedition.org/transatlantica/docannexe/image/23107/img-4.png
Fichier image/png, 317k
Légende Figure 5. Poem 13 in E. E. Cummings’ 1935 No Thanks. Reproduced in Complete Poems 1904-1962, ed. George J. Firmage (New York: Liveright, 1991)
URL http://journals.openedition.org/transatlantica/docannexe/image/23107/img-5.png
Fichier image/png, 298k
Légende Figure 6. Poem 9 in E. E. Cummings’ 1935 No Thanks. Reproduced in Complete Poems 1904-1962, ed. George J. Firmage (New York: Liveright, 1991)
URL http://journals.openedition.org/transatlantica/docannexe/image/23107/img-6.png
Fichier image/png, 442k
Légende Figure 7. Poem 29 in E. E. Cummings’ 1935 No Thanks. Reproduced in Complete Poems 1904-1962, ed. George J. Firmage (New York: Liveright, 1991)
URL http://journals.openedition.org/transatlantica/docannexe/image/23107/img-7.png
Fichier image/png, 67k
Légende Figure 8. Poem 63 in E. E. Cummings’ 1935 No Thanks. Ed. George J. Firmage (New York: Liveright, 1978)
URL http://journals.openedition.org/transatlantica/docannexe/image/23107/img-8.png
Fichier image/png, 96k
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Isabelle Alfandary, « Teaching E. E. Cummings’ No Thanks »Transatlantica [En ligne], 1 | 2024, mis en ligne le 01 juin 2024, consulté le 13 juillet 2024. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/transatlantica/23107 ; DOI : https://doi.org/10.4000/11x33

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Isabelle Alfandary

Université Sorbonne Nouvelle

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