"It takes courage to grow up and be who you really are." E.E. Cummings
There are four things poet E.E. Cummings loved: elephants, lower case letters, experimenting with word sounds, and spring! This biographical picture book explores the life of E.E. Cummings, a talented and unique poet who lived around the turn of the century. His love for words started as a child and continued throughout his entire life. His poems really stretch the meaning of language in unique ways, and like most artists who challenge the status quo, his work was rejected by publisher after publisher. He refused to conform, kept writing his way, and became one of the best American poets of all time. I always fall for stories about people who didn't succeed at first but were too stubborn to quit. This is definitely one of those stories.
This book does a great job of exploring the poet's unique style in a way that children will understand and enjoy. The pictures are fun. The story is fun. The reason for this is Cummings was a fun, joyful person, and his poetry stands today as a testament to that. Here is one of his best poems and a perfect theme for these days where spring is waiting just off stage waiting to burst in with its flowers and sunshine!
spring when the world is mud-
luscious the little
whistles far and wee
and eddieandbill come
running from marbles and
piracies and it's
when the world is puddle-wonderful
old balloonman whistles
far and wee
and bettyandisbel come dancing
from hop-scotch and jump-rope and
Any poem where I can read the word puddle-wonderul is a poem for me! Do you have a picture book about a poet that you love? I would love to find more.