E. E. Cummings: Poems


In 1943, modern dancer and choreographer Jean Erdman presented "The Transformations of Medusa, Forever and Sunsmell" with a commissioned score by John Cage and a spoken text from the titular poem by E. E. Cummings, sponsored by the Arts Club of Chicago. Erdman also choreographed "Twenty Poems" (1960), a cycle of E. E. Cummings's poems for eight dancers and one actor with a commissioned score by Teiji Ito, performed in the round at the Circle in the Square Theatre in Greenwich Village.

In 1961, Pierre Boulez composed "Cummings ist der dichter" from poems by E.E. Cummings.[37]

Aribert Reimann set Cummings to music in "Impression IV" (1961) for soprano and piano.[38]

The Icelandic singer Björk used lines from Cummings's poem "I Will Wade Out" for the lyrics of "Sun In My Mouth" on her 2001 album Vespertine. On her next album, Medúlla (2004), Björk used his poem "It May Not Always Be So" as the lyrics for the song "Sonnets/Unrealities XI."

The 2007 Ra Ra Riot song, "Dying Is Fine," is based on the Cummings' poem dying is fine)but death.

The Bloc Party song, "Ion Square", on their album Intimacy, contains lines from Cummings' poem I carry your heart with me.

The American composer Eric Whitacre wrote a cycle of works for choir entitled The City and the Sea, which consists of five poems by Cummings set to music.

Numerous composers have set Cummings' poems to music. Among them are Dominic Argento, Gary Backlund, William Bergsma, Michael Hedges, Leonard Bernstein, Allen Blank, Marc Blitzstein, John Cage, Romeo Cascarino, Aaron Copland, Serge de Gastyne, David Diamond, John Duke, Brian Fennelly, Margaret Garwood, John Gruen, Daron Hagen, Richard Hundley, Barbara Kolb, Robert Manno, Salvatore Martirano, William Mayer, John Musto, Paul Nordoff, Tobias Picker, Vincent Persichetti, Ned Rorem, Peter Schickele, Elie Siegmeister, Hugo Weisgall, Dan Welcher, Eric Whitacre, and James Yannatos, among many others.[39]

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