anyone lived in a pretty how town

This is one of the first poems I remember reading out loud. At the time, I didn’t know much about ee cummings. I did discover, however, that reading him aloud, without any practice can be quite challenging, despite how intuitively he deals with syntax. I like to think I rose to that challenge in Mrs. Pederson’s 11th grade English class. 

anyone lived in a pretty how town
by ee cummings

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


You are the Beautiful in Life

You are the beautiful in life
that I told you about
on that late autumn night,
crossing the bridge between our worlds.
In you lies a goodness more compelling
than mere right or wrong,
a mystery, a heart-balm.

And you are stronger than you know,
wiser than you trust.
You are the beautiful in life,
resting so calmly by my side,
slipping into my In Betweens,
until every accidental thought is of you.

One day, you will know your strength,
learn to smile from the inside out,
learn to laugh in the same way,
find a hope that does not disappoint.
One day, you will see that it’s you
the masterpiece, not the art on your walls.
You are the beautiful in life.