No Thanks
E. E. Cummings, along with Pound, Eliot, and Williams, helped bring about the twentieth-century revolution in literary expression. He is recognized as the author of some of the most beautiful lyric poems written in the English language and also as one of the most inventive American poets of his time. Fresh and candid, by turns earthy, tender, defiant, and romantic, Cummings's poems celebrate the uniqueness of each individual, the need to protest the dehumanizing force of organizations, and the exuberant power of love. No Thanks was first published in 1935; although Cummings was by then in mid-career, he had still not achieved recognition, and the title refers ironically to publishers' rejections. No Thanks contains some of Cummings's most daring literary experiments, and it represents most fully his view of life—romantic individualism. The poems celebrate an openly felt response to the beauties of the natural world, and they give first place to love, especially sexual love, in all its manifestations. The volume includes such favorites as "sonnet entitled how to run the world)," "may I feel said he," "Jehovah buried. Satan dead," "be of love (a little)," and the now-famous grasshopper poem.

No Thanks Details

TitleNo Thanks
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseDec 17th, 1998
PublisherLiveright
ISBN-139780871401724
Rating
GenrePoetry, Classics

No Thanks Review

  • Darwin8u
    January 1, 1970
    "to hell with literaturewe want something red-blooded"lousy with purereeking with starkand fearlessly obscene."- E.E. Cummings, No ThanksNo Thanksi fall &upon these tease versemost days downs upsung whys? not worse!we lose &findwords made (opaquedreams) dizzy mindjoyceIS aWAKE.chagall piSS paintSjazz all must playdayS iS&aintSjizz SeekShis lay.words MESSis made& founds againnight's meter strayedmOOn's madeleine.
    more
  • mwpm
    January 1, 1970
    No Thanks is so-named because, according to the introduction, Cummings struggled to find a publisher for his book of poems. Although he had already published five volumes of poetry (including is 5 ), a play ( Him ), a collection of artwork, and works of prose (including The Enormous Room ), American publishers were "floundering in the slough of the Great Depression"... The declaration of "No Thanks" which Cummings placed at the beginning of the book lists the publishers who turned him down - t No Thanks is so-named because, according to the introduction, Cummings struggled to find a publisher for his book of poems. Although he had already published five volumes of poetry (including is 5 ), a play ( Him ), a collection of artwork, and works of prose (including The Enormous Room ), American publishers were "floundering in the slough of the Great Depression"... The declaration of "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. - from the Introduction NO THANKS TO Farrar & Rinehart Simon & Schuster Coward - McCann LimitedEditions Harcourt, Brace Random House Equinox Press Smith & Hass Viking Press Knopf Dutton Harper's Scribner's Covici-Friede - from the title page The Great Depression was only the first obstacle preventing No Thanks from being published. The second, according to the introduction, was Cummings radical shift in style - "No Thanks contains more linguistic experiments and more obscurities than any volume Cummings ever produced."For the same reason, No Thanks is one of my favourite of Cummings's poetry collections. Reading any of his poetry collections, I'm always most drawn to the poems in which Cummings challenges the reader by discombobulating the conventions of line, syntax, and punctuation... o pr gress verily thou art m mentous superc lossal hyperpr digious etc i kn w & if you d n't why g to yonder s called newsreel s called theatre & with your wn eyes beh ld The (The president The president of The president of the The)president of the(united The president of the united states The president of the united states of The President Of The)United States Of America unde negant redire quemquam supp sadly thr w i n g a b aseball - 9 r-p-o-p-h-e-s-s-a-g-r who a)s w(e loo)k upnowgath PPEGORHRASS eringint(o- aThe):l eA !p:S a (r rIvInG .gRrEaPsPhOs) torea(be)ran(com)go(e)ngly,grasshopper; - 13go(prep)go(tu)to(aladventuring particles of sinisterdexteri)go to(ty)the(omnivorou salways lugbring ingseekfindlosin gmotilitiesare)go tothe ant(alwaysalingwaysing)go to the ant thou go(inging)to theant, thou ant-eater - 20snow)says!Saysover un graves der,speaking(says.wordLess)ly(goesfolds?folds)coldstones(o-l-d)namesaren'ts)L ives(c omeSsays)s;n;o;w(saysWIelds)un forgetting un.der(they)the:se!crumbs things?Itsnoyesiyouhe-she(Weres - 34as if asif a myteriouSly("i am alive") bravely and(the moon's al0down)most whisper(here)ingc r Owing;ly:cry.be,gi N s agAinst becomingsky?t r e e s!m ore&(o uto f)mor e torn(f og reelingwhiRls)are pouring rush fields dreamf(ull y are.)&somewhereishbudofshapenow,stIrghost?stirf lic;ke rsM-o:ke(c. li,m !b )& it:s;elf,mmamakmakemakesWwOwoRworLworlD - 40floatfloafloflflloloatatoatloatf loat fl oatf loatI ngLy&frisklispinglyT w irlErec,t,;d;:a:nC.eda:Nci;ddaanncciinn(GIY)a nda n-saintdance!DanSai ntd anc&e&--cupidoergosumspun=flashomiepsicronlonO--megaeta? P aul D-as-in-tip-toe rapeR - 48 birds( here,inven ting air U )sing tw iligH( t's v va vas vast ness.Be)look now (come soul; &:andwho s)e voices( are ar a - 63Do.omfulrelaxing-ly)idownrise outwrithein-ing upfall andAm the glad deep the living from nowh-ere(!firm!)exp-anding,am a fe-rvently(susta-inin-gness Amroot air rock day):you;smile,hands(an-onymo-Us - 64
    more
  • Yuthika
    January 1, 1970
    I wish I could appreciate this more. There were sparks of brilliance, but no connections... none to me, at least. Poetry is a language in itself, and it turns out not everyone speaks it the same way.
  • Donovan Richards
    January 1, 1970
    Fueling ArtThe intersection between creativity and philosophy functions as the most efficient fuel for art. Our view of the world and the way we express our beliefs about it translate remarkably well into deep and beautiful art.Alternatively, art also works well as criticism. Those positions—philosophical, political, theological—can become rather absurd when taken to logical conclusions. Think Orwell’s work in Animal Farm or 1984.E. E. Cummings’ poetry offers a unique window to his weltanschauun Fueling ArtThe intersection between creativity and philosophy functions as the most efficient fuel for art. Our view of the world and the way we express our beliefs about it translate remarkably well into deep and beautiful art.Alternatively, art also works well as criticism. Those positions—philosophical, political, theological—can become rather absurd when taken to logical conclusions. Think Orwell’s work in Animal Farm or 1984.E. E. Cummings’ poetry offers a unique window to his weltanschauung. No Thanks, in particular, exhibits Cummings at his most abstract. The title is a proverbial middle finger to the 14 publishers that passed on the manuscript; the poetry can be almost unreadable.ArtformIn fact, many of the poems only present meaning when the reader takes a step back and attempts to view the poem as a whole instead of reading it word for word.Consider this poem on baseball:“o pr gress verily thou art m mentous superc lossal hyperpr digious etc i kn w & if you d n’t why g to yonder s called newsreel s called theatre & with your wn eyes behld The (The president The president of the president of the The)president of the (united The president of the united states The president of the united states of The President Of The)United States Of America unde negant redire quemquam suppsedly thrw i n g a b aseball” (14).The words flow into and out of each other, exhibiting multiple meanings depending on how closely one tries to read the text. In this way, it’s almost easier to “read” No Thanks in the same way you would “read” a painting—by stepping back and taking it all in over the course of a few minutes.Romantic IndividualismThematically, No Thanks illustrates Cummings’ philosophy of romantic individualism. His poetry is decidedly instinctive, where perception works in concert with feeling. This belief functions as a reaction against intellect and reason. Cummings would much rather orbit around an esoteric concept of love than a grounded and rigid system of the mind.He ponders,“love is a place& through this place oflove move(with brightness of peace)all placesyes is a world& in this world ofyes live(skillfully curled)all worlds” (70).No Thanks is an abstract and almost “unreadable” read. But, in its complicated lyrics, Cummings reacts against the dominant structures of the world and proposes a view based on instinct and emotion. As with many great works of art, Cummings’ connection to his belief system provides fertile ground for art. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but I recommend No Thanks.Originally published at http://www.wherepenmeetspaper.com
    more
  • Hunter
    January 1, 1970
    i think iunderstand why som.a"n%ydidn#t wàñ++0 publishthisb o 0 kkkkkkkkIf you found the above annoying and pointless, dont bother reading this book. Similar feelings will result.
  • Aidan Collins
    January 1, 1970
    e.e. cummings was a true pioneer of drunk texting. ----at dusk               just whenthe Light is filled with birdsseriouslyi beginto climb the best hill,driven by black wine.a village does not move behindmy eyethe windmills aresilenttheir flattened armscomplain steadily against the westone Clock dimly criesnine ,i stride among the vines(my heart pursuesagainst the little moona here and there lark                                  who;rises,and;droopsas if upon a thread invisible)A graveyard dr e.e. cummings was a true pioneer of drunk texting. ----at dusk               just whenthe Light is filled with birdsseriouslyi beginto climb the best hill,driven by black wine.a village does not move behindmy eyethe windmills aresilenttheir flattened armscomplain steadily against the westone Clock dimly criesnine ,i stride among the vines(my heart pursuesagainst the little moona here and there lark                                  who;rises,and;droopsas if upon a thread invisible)A graveyard dreams through itscluttered and brittle emblems,ora field(and i pause amongthe smell of minute mown lives)ohmy spirit youtumble climb           and mightily fatallyi remark how through deep liftedfields Oxen distinctly move,ayellowandbluish cat(perched whyCurvingly at this)window;yeswomen sturdily meander in mymind,woven by always uponsunset,crickets within me whisperwhose erect blood finally trembles,emerging to perceiveburied in cliff                          preciselyat the Ending of this road,a candle in a shrine:its puniest flame persistsshaken by the sea
    more
  • Lexi Nylander
    January 1, 1970
    I read this for Read Harder, specifically the self published entry. I have no idea how I found it and I'm surprised I finished it, even though it's not even 100 pages. The introduction literally says that it was self-published because no publishing houses would really pick it up in the middle of the depression and also that it "contains more linguistic experiments and more obscurities than any volume Cummings ever produced" which is basically a polite way of saying that half of these poems were I read this for Read Harder, specifically the self published entry. I have no idea how I found it and I'm surprised I finished it, even though it's not even 100 pages. The introduction literally says that it was self-published because no publishing houses would really pick it up in the middle of the depression and also that it "contains more linguistic experiments and more obscurities than any volume Cummings ever produced" which is basically a polite way of saying that half of these poems were keysmashes and the other half read like they're written with predictive text.I'm sometimes a bit of an idiot and I like writing that's a little more shallow, but I could not even remotely attempt to understand these. "-open your thighs to fate and(if you can withholding nothing)World, conceive a man""here's to opening and upward,to leaf and to sap and to your(in my arms and flowering so new) self whose eyes smell of the sound of rain""only who'll say "and this be my fame, the harder the wind blows the taller I am'""love's function is to fabricate unknownness"
    more
  • Brady Fish
    January 1, 1970
    There are a handful of gems in this collection of poems. For the most part the poetry reads more like an annoying cryptic message than a piece of art. Referencing all the publishers that denied him publication is strange to me. Rejection should be an expectation for writers. His focus on Random House and other publications - although brief - is unnecessary.
    more
  • Cassie
    January 1, 1970
    Book #10 completed for Book Riot Challenge 2019: "A self-published book"ee cummings is so much fun to read. This particular collection showcased more of his later punctuation stylings, yet had several that were poignant, heartfelt and just plain funny.
    more
  • Kendra
    January 1, 1970
    This collection was okay. I didn’t like it as much as other Cummings poetry that I’ve read, but there were a few that I really enjoyed.
  • Misbah
    January 1, 1970
    A enjoyed a few of the poems that I could understand. I think I need to EE Cummings for Dummies before I revisit this.
  • Ian Schenck
    January 1, 1970
    Angela gave this to me while she was doing her radio show to keep me occupied.WOW. People have jokingly told me to read e e cummings, but I have stayed away from poetry in the past years much for the same reasons that I have stayed away from impressionistic art. E e cummings blew me away. I never knew ... damn you all who weren't serious when you told me to check him out! I think this book will stay in my bag for a while, as each poem can be read a dozen, or a hundred times over with a different Angela gave this to me while she was doing her radio show to keep me occupied.WOW. People have jokingly told me to read e e cummings, but I have stayed away from poetry in the past years much for the same reasons that I have stayed away from impressionistic art. E e cummings blew me away. I never knew ... damn you all who weren't serious when you told me to check him out! I think this book will stay in my bag for a while, as each poem can be read a dozen, or a hundred times over with a different effect each time.I really, really enjoyed my first pass at e e cummings, and would love any recommendation anyone can make along these lines. This seems like the perfect prep to a visit to the New Art museum.
    more
  • Tess van Brummelen
    January 1, 1970
    "E.E. Cummings wrote a book of poems that was turned down by 14 publishers. He finally published it under the title "No Thanks." The dedication was a list of all the publishers who had rejected it, arranged in the shape of a funeral urn."http://mentalfloss.com/sites/default/...
    more
  • Jacki
    January 1, 1970
    I don't know if I'm dumb, or if Cummings is just a bunch of BS, but either way, his work is way over my head...or under it. I don't know which. I do like his grasshopper poem though. and mOOn Over tOwns mOOn. and the silent night poem, but I had to have help understanding it. The rest has some good stuff in it, but I need a lot of help understanding it.
    more
  • Shelley
    January 1, 1970
    Three stars is less a reflection of the book than of my inability to understand many of the poems therein. There are many challenging works here, but even still, wonderful lines stand out: "to have tasted Beautiful to have known Only to have smelled Happens". Difficult as this book often was, I'm happy to say it did not put me off exploring more Cummings.
    more
  • Frances Sawaya
    January 1, 1970
    In my eyes, one of the greats. Love the list in the front where he says "No thanks" to all those publishers who refused him. Many current issues emerge from the poetry here even though it is decades since publication. Who cannot weep over "I Sing of Olaf"? Try alternating a poem from this book with one from "Field Work." Lovely comparisons.
    more
  • Katie
    January 1, 1970
    I love Cummings. I picked this book up for some of his more experimental poetry and fell in love. Some favorites are "here's to opening and upwards" and "o pr-". I go back and reread the poetry in this book frequently.
  • K8
    January 1, 1970
    Favorites:that which we who're alive in spite of mirrorsmay i feel said heo sure)but nobody unders(nomove deeply,rain (dream hugely)wishsometimes in)Spring a someone will lie(gluedmuch I cannot) tear up the world:& tosslove's a function is to fabricate unknownness
    more
  • Gabriella
    January 1, 1970
    Very difficult for me to read many of these poems because of his unusual formatting and writing style. However, there were a few gems in here - 'the boys I mean are not refined' was my favorite poem in this book.
  • Shannon McCue
    January 1, 1970
    i would be in love with cummings if he wasn't such a weirdo.AND i did a presentation with another goodreads friend in 10th grade on this book. it was very "intellectual..." and it was a film. with interspersed poetry readings.
  • Nicolás
    January 1, 1970
    Incredible poems.
  • Cláudia
    January 1, 1970
    It's EE Cummings. It's fricking brilliant.
  • Michael P.
    January 1, 1970
    As his works become less comprehensible, I enjoy them less. Too many of these poems are beyond my ability to decipher. There were a few peaks of joy amid the muddy slog.
  • Michael X
    January 1, 1970
    Bizarre and uncompromising.
  • Brian
    January 1, 1970
    Decent. I still can't tell whether I love or hate his writing. Most of it is crap, and then there are just stretches of pure genius and beauty, it's unreal.
  • Mon
    January 1, 1970
    iTs 0k t0 wRite lllike thi5 iF u r az fam0us as eE.cummingZ
Write a review