11 Inspiring Quotes By E.E. Cummings To Make You Feel Alive

Much-loved American poet, painter, and novelist Edward Estlin Cummings, better known as E.E. Cummings, is considered one of the greatest poets of our time. During his career, he produced around 3,000 poems including most famous works: I Carry Your Heart With Me, and In Just –. 

Known for his unconventional phrasing and punctuation and wistful insights into life, Cummings’ poems are compelling in a way that gets you thinking. 

Here are some of the best quotes from E.E. Cummings to inspire you and make you look at things a little differently.

“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are”

Being yourself, especially in a world where everyone’s trying to convince you to be something you’re not, is a daring thing to be. No-one is born resistant to the ways of the world, the influence of society, and the desire to fit in. You have to face these challenges head-on on your journey to becoming who you truly are. 

“To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best day and night to make you like everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight and never stop fighting”

Only you know who you are deep down, yet society is constantly trying to mold you into what it wants you to be. Whether that’s through your job, clothes, or mindset, no-one is immune to the power of “going along with the crowd.” But being yourself is a beautiful thing, and you shouldn’t overlook the power of your own identity. Only you can be you, after all! 

“Whenever you think or you believe or you know, you're a lot of other people: but the moment you feel, you're nobody-but-yourself”

How you feel and experience the world is the one thing that you can never one hundred percent describe to anyone. You can tell people how you feel, of course, but they will never be in your body, never know what it’s like to feel what you feel. You experience the world through your own unique lenses – ones only you can wear. When you feel, your senses are no-one’s but your own.  

“Unless you love someone, nothing else makes sense”

The true answer to life, the universe, and everything, is contained in one simple word: love.  To live a life devoid of love it to not live at all. Underneath it all, the meaning of life is to love and to love wholeheartedly. 

“I'd rather learn from one bird how to sing than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance”

If you’re ever faced with the choice of teaching people what aren’t sure of or learning something new, choose to learn every time. When you teach, you’re repeating what you already know, when you listen, you learn something new. You are humbled. You build on and develop yourself. You become wiser. You become a better you. 

“The snow doesn't give a soft white damn whom it touches”

When it comes to voicing your opinion, it shouldn’t matter what others think of you. As long as you are being true to yourself and not hurting anyone else, why should you let other people’s opinions affect you? After all, what other people think and say about you behind your back is none of your business. 

“The three saddest things are the ill wanting to be well, the poor wanting to be rich, and the constant traveler saying 'anywhere but here” 

There’s nothing like feeling constantly discontented with where you are. Just like people who think that the grass is always greener on the other side, you have to learn to see the beauty in your situation, the wonders of where you are. Only then will you be able to be truly content. 

“I like my body when it is with your body. It is so quite new a thing. Muscles better and nerves more”

The simple act of being a lover can make every single part of you feel shiny and brand new. When you love, you expose yourself to your partner, both your body and mind. And they have the unique ability to take everything you thought you already knew about yourself and make a masterpiece out of it. 

“Most people are perfectly afraid of silence”

In our world these days, people are so afraid of just sitting in silence and being with their own thoughts. So much so, that they avoid it constantly. But it is only through being in total silence with ourselves that we get to know who we really are. We can only learn more about yourself by spending time with and getting to know yourself – on your own. 

“...remember one thing only: that it's you-nobody else-who determines your destiny and decides your fate. Nobody else can be alive for you; nor can you be alive for anybody else” 

You are the pilot of your own destiny. You can make things happen for yourself or get in your own way. You have the power to make or break your life. Nobody else can live your life for you, so dream big and chase your dreams. Life is too short to do anything else. 

“May my heart always be open to little birds who are the secrets of living”

Having an open mind is important, but having an open heart is essential. When you want to get the most out of life, being open to new possibilities is key. A heart that is open to loving, living, and trying new experiences is a heart that is open to life. 


Life is what you make it, as E.E. Cummings so often expressed in his poetry. If you want to live a life that’s fulfilled, you have to learn to overcome the challenges and desires to conform and learn to stand out, to be you. 

To try things for yourself. Be brave enough to embrace life, and life will embrace you right back. 


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