DREAMS IN THE MIRROR by Richard S. Kennedy Liveright; 529 pages; $19.95
e. (Edward) e. (Estlin) cummings was a romantic poet who never grew up. Most of the good ways he stayed young show in his work. He spent a lifetime strewing lower-case words around the page, attacking conformity and praising women.
Most of the bad ways he stayed young show in his life and philosophy, and they matter very little.
Cummings had few ideas. Instead he used a petrified list of "goods" and "bads" about which he felt passionate. Flowers were good, all mechanisms, including radios and vacuum cleaners, bad. Feeling was good,...