who knows if the moon’s
a balloon,coming out of a keen city
in the sky–filled with pretty people?
(and if you and i should

get into it,if they
should take me and take you into their balloon,
why then
we’d go up higher with all the pretty people

than houses and steeples and clouds:
go sailing
away and away sailing into a keen
city which nobody’s ever visited,where

Spring)and everyone’s
in love and flowers pick themselves

Analysis, meaning and summary of e.e. cummings's poem who knows if the moon’s… (VII)


  1. David says:

    Licia I really agree with you….this is such beautiful poem, it does not need analysing and intellectual consideration…you feel it from your gut.
    I just wrote it out on my son’s birthday card for tomorrow – he’s 3. Baloons,the Moon, Love, Pretty People… and I read it out for my best friends when they married… there is so much misery and suffering in this world, a little child-like innocent love of the world goes a long way.

  2. Licia says:

    It drives me crazy to hear a person ask…”What did the Poet mean by this?” A Poem is for us to read.Take from it as individuals….what it says to us….makes us feel….think….whatever. Getting mired in what the Poet means takes away from the intent of the writer….for the reader to be moved. So…read….think….feel…share if you wish….but….to tear a poem….Poet apart….seems an injustice.

  3. Josh says:

    Cummings writes about war. This poem is about war–about how soldiers of war pick themselves. He contrasts the beauty of the poem with the seriousness and sadness of the poem. This poem is angsty unlike cleo’s comment. The high pretty people are possibly several different peoples. One possible people is the leaders of war. Another possible people is the people in an afterlife (e.g. Heaven, Hell, Purgatory, Netherworld). The phrase, “get into it,” which cummings destinctly sets at the beginning of line five descbribe the moving into something and also the fighting between two people. He chooses houses, steeples, and clouds. Houses are places of families. You leave your family when you die. He chooses steeples, which commonly represent religion and sacred life. He also chooses clouds, which are lofty and above others and intangible. Then, cummings chooses sailing as if floating on water (which hey! god walked on) and a city which nobody’s ever visited,where always it’s Spring.

  4. heather says:

    my mom passed away this past week and my best friend read this at her funeral. she died on a full moon and since she named me for a flower the poem has a very personal meaning to me. ee cummings is my favorite poet and i’ve never failed to find a poem that always suits an occasion from him – happy or sad. i take great comfort in being able to identify with the work of a man who was so connected and balanced with the world.

  5. Emma says:

    This poem is truley inspiring! I’ve read it countless times, and I still find the words moving to this day. When I was about six, my mother died, I read this poem at her funeral. At the time, I had no clue as to what the words meant, but now, as I read the poem, I finally understand the meaning of it. Thank you E.E. Cummings.

  6. Craig says:

    I think this poem is about suicide. Why would flowers pick themselves and take away their greatest characteristic, beauty. Maybe the journey is to death, after all it is a place “nobody’s ever visited ” because once you a gone you can’t ever come back.

  7. neda says:

    this poem is really great . i do not feel tired reading it again and again for the words are risen from my heart.i think there is not such a place in this world but perhaps we can reach this great pleasure in the other worled.i havent seen anything but PAIN,DISASTER,SADNESS,WAR,EVIL PEOPLE,…in my 21 years of living in this worled so there can not be such a place here.i can only see it in my dreams time to time.

  8. cleo says:

    Isn’t it funny how all of e e cummings’s poems come back to flowers and spring and love? Maybe taking an interest in flowers is a symptom of being a poet. I’ve seen some highly creative people start to take an uncanny interest in flowers. I love how he writes about spring most of all, and how his poetry is outward looking and free, not angsty (a lot of men poets are less angsty than women poets – thats probably why they appeal to me more). Spontanaeity, romance, grass, the moon … its revolutionary for this day and age, where it’s more and more about criticizing and dissecting everything.

  9. Jemia says:

    Can’t ANYONE tell Ms. Nobody, from the united states, what this poem is about? Sorry Miss, I can’t help you cause I don’t know either.
    If you want my opinion, I think it’s not worth worrying about, though, now you’ve got me wondering too.
    Hang in there, someone might tell ya oneday, If you’re lucky enough.

  10. Emily says:

    I actually used this poem when my mom passed away- I am not sure that I believe in heaven but I’d like to think that when we die we are taken to a place where there are flowers and it is always happy.

  11. Dana says:

    I have always loved this poem…. it was one of my favorites of all his poems. I’ve always been sort of a dreamer and to me this poem seems like its saying that reality can actually turn out to be a precious illusion once in awhile.

  12. Jason says:

    I love this poem because it simply brought out my immense boyish imagination. What if the moon was a balloon that could take us to places of joy and innocence? Where everyone is welcome and enjoyed? I believe there are places like that in the world, but the evils that live here make me more and more unsure of such a place. However, this poem allowed me to “balloon” back to believing.

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