the Cambridge ladies who live in furnished souls
are unbeautiful and have comfortable minds
(also, with the church’s protestant blessings
daughters, unscented shapeless spirited)
they believe in Christ and Longfellow, both dead,
are invariably interested in so many things–
at the present writing one still finds
delighted fingers knitting for the is it Poles?
perhaps. While permanent faces coyly bandy
scandal of Mrs. N and Professor D
…the Cambridge ladies do not care above
Cambrdige if sometimes in its box of
sky lavender and cornerless, the
moon rattles like a fragment of angry candy
Susan Cheever’s new biography of the poet is called “E. E. Cummings: A Life.” She has also written biographies about Louisa May Alcott, Bill Wilson and her father John Cheever, in addition to 12 other published fiction and nonfiction books. She is a professor in the MFA programs at Bennington College and The New School.