May 17, 2010

e.e. cummings, "anyone lived in a pretty how town"

anyone lived in a pretty how town - - Poetry, Poems, Bios & More

"anyone lived in a pretty how town" has always been one of my favorite cummings poems. It might see the best there is in human love, and it captures small town life about as well as any writing I know, even though it consists of fancy and allegory more than detailed realism.

In Republic, Ohio in the year 2010, there sits Anyone in the hot red car he borrowed from a buddy to impress Noone. He's meeting her for lunch downtown at Fathead's restaurant. Republic has seen better days, but it's still a pretty how town.

Of course, that's only the beginning. Harvey and Lolo are also Anyone and Noone at the other end of the story. Why not? And why not make Anyone a veteran?

Lolo was ten years younger than Harvey, though each ended up with 88 earth years. Not too bad.

I wonder what they talked about. Maybe they had supper in front of the TV after about 1960, though the picture was probably pretty snowy until the cable came in around 1980. Did they watch Walter Cronkite or Huntley-Brinkley? Most likely they got only one channel and didn't have to choose.

anyone lived in a pretty how town - - Poetry, Poems, Bios & More

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Brenda's Arizona said...

This is probably the least remembered cummings poem that I remember. It is one of his most powerful in portraying pure love (not lust), don't you think? I love his line "she laughed his joy she cried his grief". What togetherness! But what sadness, poignant sadness.

AH will be sad that you didn't pick a more lusty poem, Banjomyn!

Anonymous said...

Oh no she won't, cozin womin. What do I like best? Maybe:

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.

Reminds me of the prayer I had to say when I was three and four. "If I should die before I wake/I pray the lord my soul to take.

Oh, the agony to have fought my way out of eternity just to know I'd be going back again soon.

Lovers' Lane