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e. e. cummings (1894-1962)

Buffalo Bill 's


              1Buffalo Bill 's
              2defunct
              3              who used to
              4              ride a watersmooth-silver
              5                                        stallion
              6and break onetwothreefourfive pigeonsjustlikethat

              7                                                                                Jesus
              8he was a handsome man
              9                                        and what i want to know is
            10how do you like your blueeyed boy
            11Mister Death

Notes

1] William F. Cody ("Buffalo Bill"), who died in 1917, became famous for his Wild West Show, which he began in 1883 following his service as a scout in the civil war and during attacks against the Sioux from 1868-1872. The Buffalo Bill Historical Center is in the town of Cody, Wyoming. Richard F. Kennedy, in Dreams in the Mirror: A Biography of E. E. Cummings (New York: Liveright, 1980): 129-30, gives an account of its composition, citing Rushmore Kidder, "Buffalo Bill' s -- an Early Cummings Manuscript," Harvard Library Bulletin 4 (Oct. 1976): 373-80.


Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: "Tulips," "PORTRAITS," VIII, Tulips and Chimneys (New York: Thomas Seltzer, 1923): 94. Firmage A3a, Berg Collection, New York Public Library.
First publication date: January 1920
Publication date note: Dial 68.1 (Jan. 1920): 23.
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: RPO 2000.
Recent editing: 2:2001/12/12

Composition date: 1917
Form: free
Rhyme: unrhyming
Form note: unrhyming variable-length lines and stanzas


Other poems by e. e. cummings