This poem, “anyone lived in a pretty how town,” is one of the most popular and anthologized poems by CC Cummings. It is about a man named Anyone who is not well- liked by the someones and everyones in the town because he is absolutely different and special. Anyone sings and dances, but the townspeople don’t heed him or care about him. Indeed, they’re too busy with their very own lives to even discover him.(“he sang his didn’t he danced his did”). The others in the town are all alike (“they sowed their isn’t they reaped their same”). anyone and noone are in love, but only the innocent children can see and accept this, until they too mature up into someones and everyones and fall off their innocence (“down they forgot as up they grew”). In the midst of the love story of Anyone and Noone, town life continues unaffected. The routine marriages of the townspeople, when contrasted to the love that Noone has for Anyone, appear small and unremarkable.

Anyone and noone live a life of love, spontaneity, and wonder, while the someones and everyones live a boring, routine life. Eventually, anyone and noone die and are buried collectively. Few take notice and nothing changes. Even the poem’s speaker doesn’t appear to care about Anyone; he mentions Anyone’s death in an offhanded, and even flippant, method

There are not any particulars or dates connected to Anyone’s death, solely that point out that it occurred in some unspecified time in the future. Noone is the one who mourns Anyone, although nobody is left to mourn her when she dies. The two are buried by rushed townspeople who don’t take care of them, or for anybody but themselves and their affairs, for that matter. Whereas Anyone is a person, the townspeople characterize conformity. This is bolstered by the poem’s last stanza, wherein the folks of the town are likened to the ringing bells of the church, i.e., little greater than the background noise marking time because it passes. These uniform folks come and go as steadily because of the climate and the motion of the heavenly bodies. Yet, in death, they’re like Anyone and Noone, sleeping in a dream-filled death. Given this studying, Anyone and Noone’s names are extremely ironic. Anyone’s symbolic identify makes him without delay a person and each one.

The season presentation indicates the passing of time (‘spring, summer, autumn, winter). The order remains constant over the year but cycles. Throughout the poem, the order of the sun, moon, stars, and rain changes, and then cycles back to original order. This may characterise the confusion of the someones and everyones in the town. Cycling again to the original order demonstrates that nothing changes over time.

Important Questions

Q. What does the poem anyone lived in a pretty how town?
Answer: The poem ‘anyone lived in a pretty town’ written by Cummings is about the loss and lack of identity of people in the modern era. The main member of the “pretty how town” is anonymous by virtue of his nameless name (anyone). Generally speaking, his name also alludes that he represents all people.
Q. What does Cummings name the main male and female characters in anyone lived in a pretty how town?
Answer: This is a poem by E. E. Cummings, composed in a poet’s characteristic style which narrates the story of two people, a man he calls “anyone” and a woman, a man’s lover, he calls “noone.” Obviously, the names are significant here.

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Q. Is anyone lived in a pretty how town a ballad?
Answer: Basically, the poem is a narrative with powerful lyric components- that means , it is a ballad.

Q. Who is the speaker in anyone lived in a pretty how town?
Answer: The Speaker in “anyone lived in a pretty how town” is a third-person omniscient voice, such as a narrator.


The poem consists of nine stanzas each stanza has four lines. The poem is predominantly written in tetrameter, or lines consisting of 4 feet (every foot represents one burdened syllable and one unstressed syllable).

In harmony with the cycling seasons and the changing weathers, in a pretty town filled with the sound of bells, unpretentiously lived two individuals, named “anyone” and “noone,” whose story Cummings here tenderly tells. By ordinary standards their lives were uneventful: they loved each other, married, shared joy and grief, died, and were buried side by side. But because of their lack of self-importance (he could have been anyone, she was no one in particular), because they lived close to nature (“tree by leaf” and “bird by snow”), and, most of all, because they had learned the secret of love (“anyone’s any was all to her”), Cummings regards them with affection and identifies them with the things he most deeply loves and praises (earth and april, wish and spirit, and “yes”).

But “anyone” and “noone” are rarities. Most people are the “busy folk,” the self-important “someones” and “everyones,” the “Women and men (both little and small)” who do not care for anyone except themselves. These people sow “their isn’t” and reap “their same”: their lives are drained of significance by their inability to love. For them the music of the town’s bells is jangled, and love is reduced to sex “(both dong and ding).”

In between, of course, are the children. A few of them, in their innocence, guess “anyone’s” and “noone’s” secret of love, but, alas, they forget it and grow up to be “someones” and “everyones.” The basic contrast of the poem is between the quiet but meaningful lives of “anyone” and “noone” and the busy but meaningless lives of these “someones” and “everyones.” These latter “said their nevers” and “slept their dream” (note past tense); the former died (“i guess”) and “dream their sleep” (note present tense). The difference between “slept their dream” and “dream their sleep” is the difference between death and life,
between mortality and some form of immortality.

To understand this poem properly, one must first read it disregarding the usual meanings of anyone and no one and regarding these words simply as proper names—“anyone” and “noone.” But then, having grasped the basic story, one can restore the usual meanings and glimpse secondary meanings and ambiguities. “Women and men” cared not at all for “anyone” or for anyone. “Noone” loved him, of course, but no one (else) did. Not only was “anyone’s” any all to “noone,” but anyone’s any was all to her–she loved all people. When “anyone” died, no one but “noone” stooped to kiss his face.
Cummings is up to his old tricks with language here–the dislocation of normal syntax; the employment of various parts of speech as nouns, the elimination of capitals (except for two W’s) and of punctuation (except for parentheses and one period). To explain all of the effects he gains by these devices would trouble the reader’s patience. The two capital W’s, of course, give to “Women and men” the self-importance which the more humble “anyone” and “noone” lack. The inversion of word order in the first lines makes how both exclamatory (how pretty!) and interrogative (pretty–how?). (Answer: Pretty in its bells, its weathers and seasons, its children, and the love of “anyone” and “noone,” but not pretty in the lovelessness of its “someones” and “everyones.”) The apparent redundancy of “(both little and small)” brings out not only the physical littleness of the inhabitants as measured against their cosmic background (in this sense “anyone” and “noone” are little, too) but their spiritual smallness.

But perhaps the chief beauty of this poem is in the loveliness of its sound [as in Poe]. Hardly a line of it does not echo in its words or syntax some other of its lines. The repetitions fill the air with their chiming, as of bells. The rhythmic variety of the poem also delights the ear. And the repetitions and the rhythm together reinforce the repetitions and variations of the cycling seasons and the changing weathers—“sun, moon, stars rain.”


Passage of Time

One of probably the most distinguished themes in ‘‘anyone lived in a pretty how town’’ is that of the passage of time. This is communicated within the thrice-repeated lists of seasons and of celestial bodies coupled with the rain. With one exception, every time the lists are repeated, the order wherein they seem has been rearranged. Used to inform time lengthy earlier than the invention of clocks and calendars, the seasons, heavenly our bodies, and climate are historical signifiers of time because it passes. Additionally, there are two references to kids rising up, one in stanza Three and one in stanza 6. There are two references to the bells ringing by the town and these are presumably church bells. Church bells ring for holidays, births, marriages, and deaths; in different phrases, the entire main occasions that punctuate a life because it progresses. The different, much less simple, situations that seize the passage of time are the life and death of Anyone and Noone, and in addition to the townspeople, who dwell predictable and cyclic lives.


The theme of mortality is linked to the theme of time because it passes. Death is the ultimate consequence of the passage of time and in addition the occasion that the majority clearly measures time. In the poem, mortality is linked to the seasons (specifical winter) and to the heavens (particularly evening, through the celebrities).
These are the phenomena talked about shortly earlier than Anyone’s death is introduced. Death, as it’s envisioned within the poem, just isn’t full extinction, but slightly a dream-filled slumber. In distinction to this nice picture, life is busy and hectic; the townspeople rush about, attending to their day by day enterprise. This is especially proven in stanza 5.

The townspeople marry as a matter after all; they really feel pleasure and unhappiness as a matter after all; they sleep and rise within the morning, little greater than automatons. The life described is one without depth or reflection (as is indicated by the kids who neglect to note the world as they age). Yet death is described as simply the other; plainly the dead are in a way extra alive than the living.



There are thirty-six lines in ‘‘anyone lived in a pretty how town,’’ and eight of them are repetitions of or variants on an earlier line. These repeated lines need to do with the record of the seasons, the record of celestial our bodies and precipitation, and the bells ringing all through the city. All of those repeated lines are associated with the passage of time and due to this fact set up one of many poem’s major themes. Aside from these simple repetitions, there are two mentions of youngsters forgetting issues as they mature, and of the dream-filled slumber that describes death. The phrase by can also be repeated a number of instances all through the poem, particularly within the second half. The phrase is used to hitch comparable or an identical issue, which is a repetition in and of itself. A well-liked phrase that demonstrates this utilization is ‘‘one by one,’’ although cummings makes use of far much less standard constructions in his poem.

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Alliteration and Assonance

Alliteration, the repetition of preliminary consonant sounds in phrases or syllables positioned shut collectively, happens in a lot of the poem, as a number of lines use phrases that start with the identical letter.

Line Four is comprised of eight phrases, three of which start with the letter d and 4 of which start with h. In line 7, which can also be eight phrases lengthy, 4 phrases start with th, and two start with s. One might record nearly endlessly the situations of alliteration that run all through the poem. Assonance, the repetition of comparable vowel sounds, is much more integral to the poem’s building. As Explicator contributor B. J. Hunt points out, repeated variations of o sounds (each lengthy and quick) and ow sounds are quite a few. Even the poem’s title accommodates examples of this specific assonance. Alliteration and assonance, in spite of everything, are only an extra particular or stylized type of repetition.


Rhyme in all types runs by this poem, which is extra stylized than it at first seems to be. End rhymes (these occurring on the finish of a line) seem within the first two lines of stanzas 1 by Four and stanzas Eight by 9. Additionally, slant rhymes (involving phrases that nearly rhyme) happen within the final two lines of stanza 2 and stanza 9. Internal rhymes (rhymes occurring throughout the similar line) seem in slant type in lines 15 and 20. Because the rhymes within the poem happen with a sporadic regularity, ‘‘anyone lived in a pretty how town’’ avoids sounding too predictable (too sing-song), but it is also stylized sufficient to sound mindfully poetic, elevated to a mode that exists past regular speech.


Syntactical inversion, the type for which cummings first turned well-known (or notorious), is clear all through ‘‘anyone lived in a pretty how town.’’ Even the title is an instance of this inversion; its which means might simply as simply be communicated with the assertion ‘‘Anyone lived in a fairly city.’’ Without ‘‘how,’’ nonetheless, the playful rhythm of the poem is misplaced. Brian Docherty, writing in American Poetry: The Modernist Ideal, observes that the second line of the poem, a disordered description of the sound of bells ringing within the city, might simply be reordered right into a coherent sentence as nicely, just by rearranging the phrases across the topic and the verb. Such uncommon preparations are evident all through, notably in line 6, which is probably probably the most straightforwardly disordered line within the poem.

According to Docherty, cummings additionally makes use of phrases of all stripes as nouns. This is especially the case in lines 4, 7, 10, 18, 20, and 35. These gadgets open up the poem for a number of interpretations whereas reinforcing its rhythmic type.

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