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

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Comment 46 of 956, added on June 7th, 2005 at 1:07 PM.

Jill, your comments were great. I think the most interesting and
difficult line is "with up so floating many bells down". My thoughts on
this line: (1) it suggests the passage of time in 2 ways - the ups and
downs, suggests a wave-like rhythm of time passing. Plus, more obviously,
its a reference to the use of church bells to signal the hourly passage of
time. (2) I think its also the process of conformity. Its originally
introduced as a specific feature of this town, and, later, as a feature of
what happens when time passes. Some children start out having no fear of
expressing their individuality, "floating" "up" above the mundane world,
but as time passes they are brought "down" to same conformist level as
everyone else and "forget" their original individuality. The only
optimistic note is that "many" of the children experience this process, but
apparently not all.

Paul from United States
Comment 45 of 956, added on June 3rd, 2005 at 1:23 AM.

Okay, anyone is a man, and noone is a woman--his one true love. Their
neighbors ("both dong and ding") are ding-dongs or idiots concerned with
the artificial and mundane. They, the townspeople, are unconcerned with
this couple who experiences things genuinely and happily ("he sang his
didn't he danced his did", "she laughed his joy she cried his grief").
They are blind to love and live unhappily by being fake ("laughed their
cryings and did their dance", "said their nevers they slept their dream").
They aren't genuine--they're more concerned with what they "should" be
doing and feeling. They never truly live and don't take any risks. A
little credit is given to clear-eyed children, who "guessed but only a few"
about the genuine love between anyone and noone. But, as they got older,
"down they forgot" how to see true love. (Breakfast Club quote: "when you
grow up, your heart dies.") But, even after death, this couples' souls are
intertwined--more than ever ("all by all and deep by deep and more by more
they dream their sleep") while the townsfolk continue being shallow,
backwards, and insincere ("reaped their sowing and went their came"). The
poem is a story about two people who demonstrate the individuality and
rareness of true, undying love. Not unlike in the story "The Gift of the
Magi", their love is unspoiled, untarnished, and true. They celebrate each
other's accomplishments as their own and support each other in hard times.
It's hard to see at first, but each reading will continue to unravel the
knots in its meaning. It's the "Pretty Woman" of poetry.

Jill from United States
Comment 44 of 956, added on May 27th, 2005 at 10:24 AM.

hey me again, i read this poem and a part of me got it and im still trying
to convince the other side whats it about. anyways this was a great poem
makes me wanna be gay and suck someone off, :)

Comment 43 of 956, added on May 22nd, 2005 at 5:07 PM.

I'm fasinated by this guys poems! He is amazing!
P.S. Dylan Partic Sullivan is HOT!

Nickii from Brazil
Comment 42 of 956, added on May 22nd, 2005 at 12:54 AM.

I always viewed noone and anyone as two lovers. I don't know if the comment
has been posted or not, but if u read the poem and replace noone and anyone
with real names you will see my point.

Jared Bryer from United States
Comment 41 of 956, added on May 18th, 2005 at 9:23 PM.

Stephanie, thanks for pointing this out, it helped me read the poem again
and maybe understand it a little better. I think in "with up so floating
many bells down" the bells (or rather their ding-dongs) are the people who
live in the town. You see, the last stanza starts with "Women and men(both
dong and ding)". Not sure I grasp the essence of the up and down contrast
in the verse, though. Of course bells are up in towers and people are down
on the streets and in the houses, but surely there's some further meaning.
Maybe it's simply a bit of irony regarding people's mundane pride in their
"pretty how town". All the people busy on the streets, all proud like
floating bells - how ironical it is that all these bells are not up in
towers but swarming down at ground level... Or maybe the contrast suggests
how the high expectations upon marriage gradually deflate as times goes by
and routine takes over. In other words, the bells float up in the sky to
marry people who ascend to happiness and hope for a while ["someones
married their everyones / laughed their cryings and did their dance /
(sleep wake hope...", in the fifth stanza], but these married people will
eventually descend to everyday's routine again ["... and then)they / said
their nevers they slept their dream"]. Then, "(and only the snow can begin
to explain / how children are apt to forget to remember / with up so
floating many bells down)". Surely the snow knows a little about falling
from the sky to become a sheet of coldness down on earth. But while
someones and everyones "slept their dream" in life, anyone and noone "dream
their sleep" even beyond it.

Carlos Malha from Portugal
Comment 40 of 956, added on May 18th, 2005 at 6:49 PM.

The idea of things going up and down is repeated in the poem about three
times. What could this mean? I figured the stanza that says, "children
guess (but only a few and down they forgot as up they grew" means that
children, when they grow up and lose their innocence, go down to the level
of being an anyone or a noone and conform to the rutine of life. But what
about the other ups and downs? With the bells? Any ideas?

Comment 39 of 956, added on May 7th, 2005 at 5:13 PM.

My favorite aspect of this poem is the way Cummings uses "circles" to give
an overall background of the endless cycle of life that operates regardless
of the individual. He of course uses the "sun moon stars rain" and "autumn
winter spring summer" patterns that gradually rotate throughout the poem.
But he also makes circles in other ways, using opposites like "stir" (move
around) and "still" and "up" and "down." And to clinch the whole circle
concept, in the last stanza he repeats the first, indicating that the
entire cycle begins again...and again...

Katie from United States
Comment 38 of 956, added on April 18th, 2005 at 9:51 PM.

thinking of anyone, noone, everyone, and someone as individuals helps to
clarify the poem, but the characteristics of all of these "individuals"
apply to every person. all people at some point in their lives feel that,
like anyone, they do not belong. to such "anyones" the rest of the world is
just conforming "someones" and "everyones." such "someones" marry the
people who mean the world to them, their "everyones," but to all others,
that "everyone" is really a "noone." Whew! pretty explicit, huh? that is
the beauty of ee cummings.

Shantice from Bosnia and Herzegovina
Comment 37 of 956, added on April 11th, 2005 at 5:31 PM.

At first, it was hard for me to understand this poem. E.E. Cummings uses
these amazing and beautiful words that just flow so well together and after
i read it afain, it all sank in. I think it's kind of depressing though,
how time just goes on so rapidly but the world doesn't really change
because everyone is a noone to some people but a someone to others...this
is hard to put into words lol.

Brittany from United States

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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: 5836 times
Poem of the Day: Oct 27 2000

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