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anyone lived in a pretty how town... (29)

e.e. cummings

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Added by: Kay
grasshopper, who as wqe look up now gathering into a leap! Arriving grasshopper to become.

That is what i came up with
Added by: aztecdragon
Notice that the only stanzas that have a consistent, regular rhythm (4, 8) are the ones that are talking about, first, noone's love for anyone, and second, their love for each other. The consistent meter gives a sense of normalcy when compared with the near-chaotic meter found in the rest of the poem; as if saying that anyone and noone were the normal ones, and that the rest of the world wasn't normal.
Added by: Daniel
My suggestion to those that don't understand it, is simply not to read this poem in a linear fashion. Instead hold on to the emotion that the poem conveys. EE Cummings is a modern poet afterall.
Added by: Christopher Ahrens
But the poem does proceed in a linear fashion... in fact, approached as a simple narrative, it may be one of cumming's most linear, direct works. The "plot," so to speak, holds no surprises... because it's any one of our normal lives. Which makes the contrast with its utterly sublime absurdity even more stark. It is any one of our lives... and once you step out of the narrative, see the emptiness... see how the normalcy can be devoid of identity... the contradictions that flow so well FROM the tongue and fall right in the place where we feel pain even as we fall in love... it's exactly the lineality of this poem that makes it difficult... not difficult to understand, but more difficult to admit that against our will, we do in fact understand.
Added by: Debbie Shorter
I am a 43 year old housewife and I have never read a poem that I did not understand until this poem. anyone lived in a pretty how town.
Added by: Tyler Crosby
Another interesting thing to notice about this poem is the subtle ways in which cummings draws contrast between the two groups of noone and anyone and the someones and everyones in the town. For example, in the first stanza, anyone "sang his didn't he danced his did," and in the fourth stanza, noone "laughed [anyone's] joy she cried his grief." However, in the fifth stanza, the someones and everyones "laughed their cryings and did their dance." This is an obvious reversal and transposition of the actions of anyone and noone and serves quite nicely to establish the contrast which is central to the poem.
Added by: Denzel Antwan Smith
To Debbie Shorter:

You've never read a poem you didn't understand until this one? This is actually one of the most linear poems of cummings that I've read. its actually really simple, comparatively, but profound. Try reading r-p-o-p-h-e-s-s-a-g-r. if this confused you, that one will make your head spontaneously combust.
Added by: katie Buchanan
I think that this particular poem is one of the most easily understood poems written by E.E. Cummings. I am in the ninth grade and I could folllow its language perfectly. I greatly enjoyed it.
Added by: eccles
I never thought that this poem dealt with individuals at all, but more with people in general. The 'anyones' and the 'noones' to me were expressing a certain alienation -- a sense that when it all boils down -- no one cares that anyone dies... Does this make sense?
Added by: Valerie
In my english class we had to compare this poem to the play "Our Town". If anyone else has read or seen that play you can make alot of connections about topics that seem cliche but are made quite profound in this poem and also in the play.

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