a pretty a day
(and every fades)
is here and away
(but born are maids
to flower an hour
in all,all)

o yes to flower
until so blithe
a doer a wooer
some limber and lithe
some very fine mower
a tall;tall

some jerry so very
(and nellie and fan)
some handsomest harry
(and sally and nan
they tremble and cower
so pale:pale)

for betty was born
to never say nay
but lucy could learn
and lily could pray
and fewer were shyer
than doll. doll

Analysis, meaning and summary of e.e. cummings's poem a pretty a day


  1. Krista Dietz says:

    Well, it is definitly about the rape of women, but also of countries I think. There is the use of many military terms…In fact a “Jerry” is slang for a soldier and a “sally” is actually a defensive military manuever. Apply this to what he says about the women (that they are just dolls) and you get the final point the poem.

  2. Amber Rose Fuqua says:

    Does anyone know the direct meaning of this poem i have been trying to figure it out but i cant see past the words….

  3. me says:

    this poem is the hardest song in the world to sing… try choir auditions. yeah die poem!

  4. Roy says:

    I’ve noticed that in many of his poems it’s the end when it all comes home to you. Here I see he is going through the list of people and of the predictability of their activities. Then he tells what the poem is about; doll.
    I can feel it. It’s makes me tear up. One word..doll.

  5. Kelly says:

    Here’s my opinion: The point of this poem is that there isn’t a point. The sense is that there is no sense. You can’t focus on his words (if you do, you’ll never enjoy e.e.c) but rather on thier rythmes. The feelings of the words you should take, not as much (if at all) their face value. It’s like flowing down a river with just your face out of it, you’re hearing the rushing water, you don’t exactly know where it’s taking you but you’re enjoying the ride. That’s my 2 cents.

  6. anonomus says:

    I guess i don’t fully understand the meaning of this poem. I think I agree that he is talking about his former crushes, but his words, to me, are hard to understand.

  7. John says:

    I Guess I will be the first to comment… well if you look at the poem carefully enough you will realize that this e.e. cummings is not necessarly talking about flowers (if you know what I mean). He is talking about each persons different sexuality and sexual tendencies. Also my teacher in AP English thinks that in the last line of every stanza e.e. cummings is referring to a female that he “had a crush on”, a tall…pale…doll

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