Eating Popcorn With A Spoon

26 August 2005

pretty how town

Was about 20 years ago, I recall driving with a friend of mine through the city of Milwaukee. She had a book in her car. There I found a poem that changed my life. I was young and impressionable, and I'd never seen or heard anything quite like it before:

e.e. cummings - anyone lived in a pretty how town

anyone lived in a pretty how town
(with up so floating many bells down)
spring summer autumn winter
he sang his didn't he danced his did

Women and men (both little and small)
cared for anyone not at all
they sowed their isn't they reaped their same
sun moon stars rain

children guessed (but only a few
and down they forgot as up they grew
autumn winter spring summer)
that noone loved him more by more

when by now and tree by leaf
she laughed his joy she cried his grief
bird by snow and stir by still
anyone's any was all to her

someones married their everyones
laughed their cryings and did their dance
(sleep wake hope and then) they
said their nevers they slept their dream

stars rain sun moon
(and only the snow can begin to explain
how children are apt to forget to remember
with up so floating many bells down)

one day anyone died i guess
(and noone stooped to kiss his face)
busy folk buried them side by side
little by little and was by was

all by all and deep by deep
and more by more they dream their sleep
noone and anyone earth by april
wish by spirit and if by yes.

Women and men (both dong and ding)
summer autumn winter spring
reaped their sowing and went their came
sun moon stars rain

e.e. cummings was onto something. Poetry was being read in books rather than recited verbally. He was on the cutting edge of remaking the art of poetry. You really should check out at least one book by e.e. cummings.


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