Edward Estlin Cummings was a creative genius, who lived in a time period where the world's fate was dubious and rapidly changing. Refusing to combat this evolution with cut and dry poetry, Cummings played a significant role in the Modernist movement in which conformity was looked down upon. In essence, confusion was combated with confusion during this movement, which was criticized by scholars such as Richard Aldington, who professed "the age is incoherent.is no reason why art generally.should be incoherent." E. E. Cummings" (a common misconception is that he had his name legally changed to all lowercase letters, however the E.E. Cummings Society refutes that statement, saying he only signed certain poems that way) poetry can be interpreted by following his life story, as the two are often closely linked.
Born on October 14, 1894 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, E.E. Cummings came into a very intellectual family. His father was a sociology professor at Harvard and a noted Unitarian clergyman, and his mother was the person responsible for introducing E.E. to poetry at a very young age. In high school, E.E. Cummings took a keen interest in art, especially in such modernist painting styles as cubism and futurism. This knowledge of the visual arts led to his tendency to experiment with punctuation, compressed words, unusual typography, line division, and capitalization in his writing from an early age. .
In 1911, Cummings followed in his father's footsteps and enrolled at Harvard University as an English major. There, he frequently wrote for the Harvard Monthly, criticizing paintings and creating poetry which already embodied the distinctive style he would use for the rest of his life. From the beginning of his professional writing career, Cummings has been misunderstood. In his first published poetry, E.E. Cummings used his signature lower-case pronoun "i" which symbolized the uniqueness and humbleness of the individual.