Joy Farm, the former summer home of poet E.E. Cummings, earned its place on the National Register of Historic Places 43 years ago today.
Tucked back on an out-of-the-way road on Silver Lake stands a gable-roofed farmhouse and modified Dutch barn – these grounds are known as Joy Farm. The unassuming homestead was the summer home of E.E. Cummings from 1929 until he passed away in 1962. It was there that the poet penned some of his most ground-breaking work. Harvard Magazine once described the poet as “defiant of convention in language as in life.” In poetry, Cummings was one of the first to consider the visual shape of his poem on paper, this led to poems about snowfall that would have words running across multiple lines as though they were falling snowflakes. His outlook was similar to other New England writers (think Emmerson and Thoreau) with an emphasis on the self-reliant and authentic experiences. On this day, November 11, in 1972, the 200-year-old estate was accepted into the National Register for Historic Places. The grounds are now home to writers’ retreats, art shows, and music festivals.