MS Am 1892.5 (370), sheet 1, Houghton Library, Harvard University, Used with Permission, Copyright © by the Trustees for the E.E. Cummings Trust
MS Am 1892.5 (370), sheet 1, Houghton Library, Harvard University, Used with Permission, Copyright © by the Trustees for the E.E. Cummings Trust
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Preliminary Observations

  1. A final draft of “rainsweet” (CP 1045) is typed on the same sheet as the first pencil drafts of “n// OthI” (CP 814)—see sheet 1 above.
  2. Both poems were published after Cummings died, but “n// OthI” found its way into 73 Poems (1963) while “rainsweet” had to wait until the 1983 publication of Etcetera: The Unpublished Poems.
  3. “n// OthI” explores the mystery of stillness in content and form (the repetition of letters on their own lines generates an uncanny sense of *stillness*); “rainsweet” ends with “v / oi / c // e” thereby placing a stanza break prior to the “e” sitting on the page in all of its silence. The poems, therefore, have a strong thematic connection.
  4. Having “rainsweet” on the same sheet as “n// OthI” connects these poems on a material level as well as a temporal level. That is, even though two decades separates their publication, Cummings made them in conjunction with each other.