[anyone lived in a pretty how town]

Discover Cummings' exploration of life's cycles and love's power in "[anyone lived in a pretty how town]." Read our analysis now.

[anyone lived in a pretty how town]
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EE Cummings wrote the following poem about "anyone" and "noone" in a "pretty how town." In this town, life follows a routine, "sun moon stars rain." The townspeople also follow through their routines—they grow up, get married, and raise kids that are just like themselves ("they sowed their isn’t they reaped their same.")
Meanwhile, "[anyone]" is love by "[noone]," who laughs when [anyone] feels joy and cries when [anyone] feels grief. A few of the kids notice this romance that grows "when by now and tree by leaf," but even they grow indifferent as they get older. One day, [anyone] dies and [noone] joins them. Busy folk bury the couple "little by little."
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 hope and then)they said their nevers they slept their dream
stars rain sun moon (and only the snow can begin to explain how children are apt to 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
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The ending of this poem is cryptic. [anyone] and [noone] disappear into the past (i.e., "was by was") but emerge again in April. This town feels mythological, like Gabriel Márquez's Macondo. The poem feels like a creation myth—a reminder for [anyone] that [noone] loves them despite society's cold indifference. Each spring, this love will reemerge, "wish by spirit and if by yes."

Story From

E.E. Cummings Collection