Words came easily to Philip Cummings and he enjoyed writing and public speaking from an early age. His first love was always poetry, but he also wrote scholarly papers, magazine articles, essays, memoirs, and journals.
Although Cummings was never well-known as a poet, his early work received considerable recognition. His first collection of 56 poems was published when he was just 22 years old and still a student. Over the next ten years, he had at least 34 additional poems published in national newspapers, poetry anthologies, and New England literary journals.
Cummings had less time for poetry after his first child was born in 1939, but he never stopped writing poems for himself and his friends. A few of his published and unpublished works in a variety of genres are listed below.
"To One in Black Mountain," New York Times, 27 May 1929, 24.
"Thanksgiving," Christian Science Monitor, 4 June 1930, 11.
"The Path to the Ozarks," The Grub Street Book of Verse (New York: Henry Harrison, 1932), 27.
"Chanson d'Automne," Driftwind, 9, 1934-35, 62.
"One Night After Death," Contemporary American Men Poets (New York: Henry Harrison, 1937), 162.
Mother Tongue (Winter Park, FL: Rollins Press, 1928).
"Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer as a Journalist: A Study in Particular of His Editorial Work in el Museo Universal during 1866," Hispania, 20 (1), February 1937, 31-36.
Woodchuck Rampant Bearing Light (Cleveland, OH: The Rowfant Club, 1944).
"Tulip Festival," Vermont Life, 5 (3), Spring 1951, 50-53.
Federico García Lorca, Songs, translated by Philip Cummings with the assistance of Federico García Lorca, edited and introduced by Daniel Eisenberg (Pittsburgh: Duquesne University Press, 1976), 125-181.
"Capital City Sojourn: The Pierre Journal of Philip H. Cummings, December 1932 to January 1933," edited
and introduced by Patricia A. Billingsley, South Dakota History, 39 (2), Summer 2009, 95-165.*
* Above excerpted from: A Poet in the Sagebrush: The Valley Ranch Journal of Philip H. Cummings, September 1932 to June 1933, edited and introduced by Patricia A. Billingsley, in progress. Research supported in part by a fellowship from the Cody Institute for Western American Studies, Buffalo Bill Historical Center, Cody, WY.
Mr. Cummings has given poetry lovers a volume of brief but brilliant verses, clear-cut as cameos, and conveying more of sentiment and meaning than the mass of this style of poetry...
I hope to read more from this Rollins poet, and that his Muse will not depart with his college days.
—E. D. Lambright, "Books and Bookmen," Tampa Sunday Tribune, 6 January 1929, sec. 4, p. 3.