E.E. Cummings – Anyone lived in a pretty how town.

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Change of Seasons

From chapter three, I read E.E. Cummings “anyone lived in a pretty how town” ( which is just the first line because E.E. Cummings never gave his poems a title). I believe that the overarching theme of this poem is how life is a continuous cycle, which keeps repeating its seasons. Over time we are just living in the cycle of life and we are experiencing and gaining insight from within. One of my favorite lines in the entire poem is

“He sang his didn’t and danced his did.”

This line serves to show how life will always go on, sometimes you will succeed and sometimes you will fail, and through these successes and through these failures, you will learn and you will be a part of the continuous life. To me, that is both powerful and insightful. It gives you hope to push for living a seemingly normal life. The poem continues, as does the cycle of life, and we get to the third stanza, in this stanza we learn about children and their innocent, and magical ways of looking at life. Cummings states,

“Down they forget as up they grew.”

Each and every one of us has an inner child within us, and at some point in our lives we learn that our childhood innocence, and naivety is no longer within us. While we may always be a child at heart, we are experiencing many things along the path of growing up that we no longer have the same thoughts we once did. We now look at the world differently, and we can no longer remain a child. This is not socially accepted and it will not allow us to be successful. Growing up is such an essential process of life, and sometimes it is thought of too much and it downplays the magic of childhood.  This stanza serves to say a farewell to our childhood, thank you for all you have done but we are now moving forward in this circle that life is taking us on. It does not however, look at childhood as unnecessary it gives our childhood the importance that it deserves and it gives it its worthy role in our lives.

One of the most powerful lines in the poem for me is in the seventh stanza, this stanza begins the talk of death and all things unknown,

“One day anyone died I guess.”

We all must at some point in our lives experience death. Whether it be of a pet, a family member, or a friend. Death is scary and exciting, it is a passage of life that is both beautiful and devastating. In this stanza we are talking about the grief that death brings to us, and in this line, the addition of I guess gives way to the uncertainty of death. It helps the reader realize that death is something new, and something different, we may not know what to expect and what to take away from it, but in the end it is apart of life’s circle.

Back in the 9th grade, for one of my required summer reading books, we were told to find a poet from the list, and choose a book to read. Back then, I chose to read E.E. Cummings, because well his book was the shortest. 😉 However,  as I was reading his book and as I continued learning more about his style of writing, he became quite infuriating because his choice of styles and writing can be difficult to understand, and a lot of times I find myself asking is there really anything behind this? When you look at a piece from the beginning, you see that it is beautiful, as a whole it is worthy of being written. However once you try to break it down, it gets to the gritty unlikeable parts that really look beautiful as a puzzle but in pieces they are just messy. That is how I feel about E.E. Cummings poetry, it is beautiful as a whole, but its parts are just messy.

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