“anyone lived in a pretty how town” by e.e. cummings : Questions and Summary

“anyone lived in a pretty how town” by e.e. cummings

1. Who is “anyone”? Describe “anyone”’s relations to “noone.”

Anyone is a man who is different than anyone else in the town, and so he is hated. Anyone is loved by noone, as the line, “anyone’s any was all to her,” suggests.

2. What tense is the poem written in? Does the tense shift at all?

The poem is written in the past tense until “anyone” and “noone” are buried. The poem then becomes present for a single stanza, suggesting that death and the eternal life that follows is constantly ‘present.’

3. What does the rearrangement of the seasons and stellar beings suggest about time?

The rearrangements keep the same circular order, suggesting that time is also circular, yet ever-changing.

4. The only two capitalized words of the poem are “Women.” Why do you suppose Cummings capitalizes them?

The capitalizations both follow the only two full stops of the poem (periods). Cummings may be signifying the beginning quality of women, suggesting that everything, including the poem, begins with a woman.

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