E E Cummings Wrote Magical Fairy Tales For The Daughter He Almost Left Behind

by Brenda Pitt


In 1919, E.E. Cummings impregnated his lover, the separated wife of his beloved friend Scofield Thayer, Elaine. Unfortunately, Cummings left Elaine and the child alone and abandoned, and Thayer took on the role of the girl’s father until he and Elaine officially divorced one year later. 



But this story isn’t a tragic one; it’s a poignant one about doing the best we can for those we love. After that year apart, Cummings could no longer refuse to acknowledge his daughter. The struggling writer expressed his paternal love through strange and magical stories. And in 1965, four of them were finally published in book entitled Fairy Tales, illustrated beautifully by John Eaton. Take a look at some of the images, and enter the magical world of his stories, titled in rhyme: “The Little Girl Named I,” “The House That Ate Mosquito Pie,” “The Old Man Who Said, ‘Why?’” and “The Elephant & The Butterfly.” 


This one’s my favorite. 


Thanks to Brain Pickings

Images via Brain Pickings

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