MS Am 1892.5 (152), Sheet 4, Houghton Library, Harvard University, Used with Permission, Copyright © by the Trustees for the E.E. Cummings Trust
MS Am 1892.5 (152), Sheet 4, Houghton Library, Harvard University, Used with Permission, Copyright © by the Trustees for the E.E. Cummings Trust
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Initial Observations

  1. The sheets are numbered in reverse (i.e. the first draft begins on sheet four, the final draft is found on sheet one).
  2. The sheets show roughly 27 drafts of the poem, depending on how much work constitutes a  draft.
  3. The final draft is in pencil (sheet 1), and leaves out the exclamation mark, though the published draft includes it.
  4. Cummings returns to the first typed draft of the poem (sheet 4) and writes, in pencil, the capital letters R-O-U-N-D. The capital letters appear, in type, on the third sheet.
  5. Cummings adds the iconic “o” first with pencil.
  6. Cummings does not add the comma, semi-colon, and colon until the final draft on the first sheet, and he does so in pencil.
  7. On the second sheet, we see Cummings counting, and the published poem has one-syllable lines every other line.