i was sitting in mcsorley's Historical Context

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After he graduated from Harvard in 1916, cummings moved toNew York City, where he stayed, with time away during World War I, for most of his life. Cummings probably wrote "i was sitting in mcsorley's" around 1917, when he was living in Greenwich Village in New York City, part of that time with his friend William Slater Brown, whom he met during the war. Cummings's biographer Charles Norman notes that cummings frequented McSorley's, which he describes as follows:

It has two rooms, each with its individual admonitory sign, "Be Good or Be Gone." The walls are crowded with photographs and lithographs in which a vanished city dwells, and dead, buxom ladies and derbied men. The room in front has the bar, but the room in back boasts a famous lady of smooth and beautiful nudeness. . . . Here writers, artists, and laborers still meet on equal terms, without distractions, to sluice down...

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This section contains 532 words
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Buy the i was sitting in mcsorley's Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
i was sitting in mcsorley's from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.