Edward Estlin Cummings (1894–1962) is best remembered as a writer whose experiments with language and form gave new life to poetry. Just as his idiosyncratic syntax invested his language a sense of breathless urgency, his eccentric spacing often turned the poem into a work of visual art. Cummings started writing poetry when he was ten, and from the beginning he exhibited a penchant for linguistic play. This play got him into trouble when he served as an ambulance driver in France during World War I. Bored, Cummings wrote letters home that contained intentionally veiled comments meant to test the French censors. These letters got him briefly imprisoned on suspicion of treason, an experience he fictionalized in his first book, The Enormous Room (1922). In 1923, Cummings published his first collection of poems, Tulips and Chimneys. Additional volumes of poetry followed in quick succession, winning him critical recognition as well as cash prizes that enabled him to write full time. Some critics have argued that Cummings’s innovations were merely technical and thus brought little truly new to the art of poetry. However, his past and present supporters insist that he infused language with a vibrant new sense of immediacy.