CUMMINGS, EDWARD ESTLIN. 1894-1962. Autograph Manuscript Signed ("E.E. Cummings"), headed "Poem",

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Lot 20
CUMMINGS, EDWARD ESTLIN. 1894-1962.
Autograph Manuscript Signed ("E.E. Cummings"), headed "Poem",

US$ 5,000 - 8,000
£ 4,000 - 6,400
CUMMINGS, EDWARD ESTLIN. 1894-1962.
Autograph Manuscript Signed ("E.E. Cummings"), headed "Poem", 1 p, 4to, n.p., February 7, 1950, inscribed for Walter Beals, written on old vellum (a partial 17th century document in French). Matted and framed.
Provenance: Walter B. Beals (presentation inscription); Sotheby's, Jul 21, 1981, lot 483.

"Whatever's merely wilful,
and not miraculous
(be never it so skilful)
must wither fail and cease
—but better than to grow
beauty know no

Their goal (in calm and fury:
Through joy and anguish) who've
made her, outglory glory
The little while they live—
unless by your thinking
forever's long

Let beauty touch a blunder
(called life) we die to breathe,
itself becomes her wonder
—and wonderful is death;
but more, the older he's
the younger she's
"

An exceedingly handsome and unusual presentation on 17th century vellum. The manuscript is the full poem in three stanzas as published in Cummings' Complete Poems 1913-1962. Walter Burges Beals (1876-1960) was a prominent judge in Washington state and an inimitable collector of manuscripts.
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