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Analysis and comments on anyone lived in a pretty how town by e.e. cummings

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Comment 153 of 953, added on February 6th, 2008 at 9:55 AM.

I set this poem to music (for a cappella vocal ensemble) in 1984; you can
listen to a recording of this piece here:


Michael Pelz-Sherman from United States
Comment 152 of 953, added on December 16th, 2007 at 11:11 PM.

i read in 'the poetry and pose of ee cummings' by robert e wegner, that
this poem refers to his father. you see, he loved his father very much and
considered him to be a very wise, and gentile man; hence writing this poem
about him.

this remains to be my favorite poem, and is next to my bed. for the first
week i had it up, i would read it every night and cry. it is a very
touching poem :]

ani hovhannisyan from United States
Comment 151 of 953, added on December 1st, 2007 at 11:04 AM.

My teacher introduced this to us a couple weeks ago and I dont really
understand it but i like it

Mike from Canada
Comment 150 of 953, added on October 18th, 2007 at 7:05 PM.

the poem was amazing

sally e ripkin from Zimbabwe
Comment 149 of 953, added on October 13th, 2007 at 2:03 PM.

This is just my take: “anyone” refers to a man whom the town didn’t
understand. He lived in a way separate from the rest of them – rejoicing in
the little things like snow falling and the changing of the seasons. The
children see that “noone” (a woman) loves “anyone” but lose sight of that
love once they grow into the stern countenances of their forbears; they
learn to ignore the magic of the pure love the strange couple share.
Cummings goes on to describe the way they lived their lives – one unto the
other “she laughed his joy she cried his grief”. They live in harmony – as
unlikely complements, one to the other. “bird by snow and stir by still”.
The next paragraph seems to imply that the townspeople lived not for their
spouses, but for the community “someones married their everyones” – they
mimic the happy couple’s adoration but in way that seems contrived, and, in
truth, joyless. “anyone” and “noone” die and the speaker describes the
difference in the way they go on in death compared to how everyone else
goes on in life “they dream their sleep” compared to the bloodless “they
slept their dream”. Cummings concludes the poem with the image of the solid
townspeople go on about their business, never ceasing in their work, never
stopping to think and admire the marvel of the steady path that time trods
or to mourn the loss of so great a love – one that they must have envied
even if they never understood it.

Faith from United States
Comment 148 of 953, added on October 3rd, 2007 at 2:15 PM.

I have always loved this poem since i was first introduced to it by my
literature tutor in 1973 in high school. it has always struck me as
beautiful in an odd sort of way and it is full of pathos too!

Joyce S. Boadi from United Kingdom
Comment 147 of 953, added on September 29th, 2007 at 2:29 PM.

I've been doing a lot of delving into Cummings lately, and this poem stuck
out to me (along with 'since feeling is first', look into that one as
well.) This particular poem just looked like a parallel to what anyone's
life could be. you, me, anyone. Try inserting yourself into the character
'anyone's place and try seeing his life. It becomes an interesting
perspective on what the poem could be trying to tell us: that this could
really be anyone and no-one's life.

Jill from United States
Comment 146 of 953, added on August 11th, 2007 at 10:49 AM.

One of my favorites by this master. The stark differences between the
lovers, equated with not just the natural rythms of the seasons and of
life, but kissed with the greatest of blessings, earth by april and if by
yes, and those poor, self-important someones, out of kilter with the earth
and with nature owing to their own self-inflated egos, living in a town
concerned with false appearances, is immense.

Which would you rather be? Which would you rather be loved by?

Joe Barr
Comment 145 of 953, added on June 14th, 2007 at 6:58 PM.

This poem is just how it sounds- nice and quaint and almost cute to read
first (thought maybe confusing), but then it is something else when you
read it. The city they live in seems nice, but evryone is concerned with
themselves, sowing seeds of negativity (which will of course reproduce and
multiply... perhaps law of attraction?) And because of this, the people
have become greedy bastards (sorry) and they ignore what has become of
anybody. The children recognise anyone and see what they are destined to
grow out of- they see love. Perhaps imagination. Above all, they see what
is happening. But they are consumed by the negativity and give in to it. I
think though it can be a negative poem, it is also uplifting if you shift
the light and maybe decide to learn from it.

Or, at least, that is my take on the poem.

Comment 144 of 953, added on June 14th, 2007 at 6:18 AM.

if you paraphrase the poem it says noone loves anyone. all the persons
appearing in this poem are substituted by pronouns -> everybody is
interchangeble; individualty doesn´t exist or at least doesn´t matter in
the world of the lyrical I.
also the words stars, rain, moon are constantly mentioned. they repeat in
the same manner the men and women repeat their actons. nothing changes
throungh noone´s or anyone´s death.

kathatrina blum from Germany

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Information about anyone lived in a pretty how town

Poet: e.e. cummings
Poem: anyone lived in a pretty how town
Added: Jan 31 2004
Viewed: 5670 times
Poem of the Day: Oct 27 2000

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