E. E. Cummings

E. E. Cummings (1894–1962) was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to prominent Unitarian parents whose circle of friends included Josiah Royce and William James. After earning his master’s degree from Harvard in 1916, Cummings enlisted in the Norton-Harjes Ambulance Corps and was arrested by the French military on suspicion of espionage because of antiwar sentiments expressed in his letters home. Two months later, after his father wrote a letter to Woodrow Wilson, Cummings was set free and returned to the United States, where he was drafted into the army and served on a base in Massachusetts until the end of the war. The Enormous Room, based on his experience as a prisoner, appeared in 1922, a year before his first book of poetry, Tulips and Chimneys.