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Anyone lived in a pretty how town -- e e cummings

Guest poem sent in by
(Poem #1260) Anyone lived in a pretty how town
 anyone lived in a pretty how town
 (with up so floating many bells down)
 spring summer autumn winter
 he sang his didn’t he danced his did.

 Women and men(both little and small)
 cared for anyone not at all
 they sowed their isn’t they reaped their same
 sun moon stars rain

 children guessed(but only a few
 and down they forgot as up they grew
 autumn winter spring summer)
 that noone loved him more by more

 when by now and tree by leaf
 she laughed his joy she cried his grief
 bird by snow and stir by still
 anyone’s any was all to her

 someones married their everyones
 laughed their cryings and did their dance
 (sleep wake hoe and then)they
 said their nevers and they slept their dream

 stars rain sun moon
 (and only the snow can begin to explain
 how children are apt for forget to remember
 with up so floating many bells down)

 one day anyone died i guess
 (and noone stooped to kiss his face)
 busy folk buried them side by side
 little by little and was by was

 all by all and deep by deep
 and more by more they dream their sleep
 noone and anyone earth by april
 wish by spirit and if by yes.

 Women and men(both dong and ding)
 summer autumn winter spring
 reaped their sowing and went their came
 sun moon stars rain
-- e e cummings
I love this poem so much. At first glance it appears to be a description of a
town, but if you notice, "anyone" and "noone" are lovers who are ignored by
the same townspeople described and at first, the reader. The reversed word
order and repetition also adds to the "Cummings style." I also enjoyed the
use of the cosmos and seasons to show the passing of time.

66 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

Ian Baillieu said...

Cummings uses language in such unexpected ways to charge it
with meaning and open it to imagination, that the typo
gremlin can easily infiltrate undetected. Here, he did
write 'noone' (not 'no one'), and did join the parentheses
to adjacent words, but the gremlin has sneaked into the
fifth stanza, where 'hoe' should be 'hope' in the 3rd line,
and 'and' should be deleted from the 4th line.

A lovely poem, which gains meaning on each re-reading.

Grafe Bob said...


This is a blind comment. You may or may not be able to answer this question. Do you have any research on "interpretations" of this particular work? Any referrals?


Bob Grafe

Mullens60 said...

"how children are apt for forget to remember"

should be

"how children are apt to forget to remember"

according to Dover Thrift Editions' '100 Best-Loved Poems' (ed. Philip Smith).

Robert Hankes said...

this poem is soooooo totally sweet and i think it should be written in
goats blood on gold paper... this is coming from a sweet class of sweet
seniors at big spring. it doesnt exactly paradoxicly appeal to the
minadegative of the googleogative of our generation but i guess the
juxtaposition with do for the supercalifragilistic expealidocious time
period we live in


duncansapien said...

thank you so much for posting this, it's my favourite of ee's poems and lovely to see here again.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...



Carol said...

Noone is noon in old english

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

dhatz wats up ee cummings i like it. taylor gang wats up

Anonymous said...

Fuck you E.E. CUMmings, you chode wrangler. You're making my English project fucking impossible, i hope you die or already died in a car fire.

Anonymous said...

Cummings writing is simply beautiful! and it has deep spiritual meaning. He has a great outlook on the way other people tick, and it's true what he means in his poem. So many people are living fake, with no purpose, and no meaning.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

woooohooooo. this poem touched me.

Anonymous said...

failure... love the poem but the haters are stupid... come on guys, grow up. im a 16 year old girl and im telling you to grow up... thats sad.

Anonymous said...

^Amanda, was that you?

Anonymous said...

Noone is in love with anyone.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

This poem leaves an image of a dog taking a nasty shit on my face. This poem is a masterpiece in no ways at all. I need to go take a shit now....

Anonymous said...

I don't like poems that don't rhyme or at least have a rhythm! & i hate the damn internet! It does not help any with my damn project! I dnt get this bs! >:|

Anonymous said...

Wow, I weep for the future.

Anonymous said...

In my ideal world e e cummings would be mandatory reading (it's not compulsory to understand it- it's probably not even possible), and internet access limited to the literate.

Anonymous said...

Don't you wonder why some of the Anonymouses came to this page in the first place? I suppose it's a change from random channel-hopping on the TV remote.

Anonymous said...

I Love this poem. It has so much meaning to it!

Anonymous said...

I was brought up on E E Cummings and my life has been enriched by memorizing much of his poetry. Perhaps the crudness of one of the critics of EECs writing should take the time TO REALLY READ the works and perhaps learn a great deal about what it means to actually be human and not lost in the vacum of profanty. NAMASTE

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

A reading of any poem is a sounding of your own soul....

Anonymous said...

'member merchants'.

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Anonymous said...

This poem is a classic. As to the haters above, grow up--coming from a fifteen-year-old girl. You just sound stupid. The poem rhymes a lot. And if you actually did some research, you would see that there are plenty of resources and commentations about it. The poem is about a man (anyone) and a woman (no one) who fall in love, get married, grow old, and get buried together after death. A "pretty how town" is a town like that in Madeline L'Engle's "A Wrinkle In Time." Everyone is the same--unoriginal, wallpaper. If you really read the poem, you'd understand it a little better. ;)

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Ian Afterman said...

You people really need to have more respect for something your tiny brains could not even get around. (In regards to the negative comments)

beto said...

good poem by e e cummings Thanks

Anonymous said...

I wonder why some people are so rude in their comments. If you don't like or understand the poem just say so. it's not necessary to say anything else. And to leave such profanity where young ones can see is just ignorant. Maybe that's why they can't understand the poem.

Uber Tekno said...

merci beaucoup pour poster ça, ce est mon préféré des poèmes de EE et agréable à voir ici.

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