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Sunday, August 21, 2011

anyone lived in a pretty how town

(Clearing, woodblock print by Frances Gearhart,
1869-1958, American artist)

“Once upon a time” is how many tales of romance begin.

But not this love story. It begins with lines of verse that seem strange, even nonsensical.

This is the story of a typical town and a certain couple, a man and a woman, anyone and noone. As the days and seasons follow their cycles, the two lead quiet lives unnoticed by all except for some of the town’s children. They fall in love, marry, and share their joy and grief and dreams and laughter. And then, after a full and happy life, they die, he before she, and are buried side by side.

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
with 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 (1894-1962), American poet, painter, and essayist

1 comment:

GretchenJoanna said...

I do love this poem. While all of it is crazy and much of it can be confusing at first, some lines are immediately resonant with me, like, "anyone’s any was all to her"

I get behind in reading your blog and am then rewarded by a feast of poetry -- and this month, LOVE!