skip to main | skip to sidebar
Home » » Anyone lived in a pretty how town Summary and Analysis


The speaker introduces a man by the name of "anyone" in the poem's first stanza. He lived in a typical town filled with bells. He traveled through life really, consistently mindful of all that he'd left scattered, and glad to commend the things he had achieved. No one in the two "both small and small" cared for "anyone" at all, despite his apparent goodness. They continued to plant and harvest in this manner because they only cared about themselves.

The speaker continues by introducing "noone," a woman who loved anyone and lived in the same area. The children initially found the relationship interesting, but despite the growing love no one had for anyone, they soon forgot about it. No one was aware of everything they were experiencing. Anybody in the end passed on as did noone. The townspeople, concerned for their own well-being, took the time to bury them side by side. The poem's conclusion emphasizes life's cyclical nature and the emergence of a new generation of town residents.


Promptly in that first line, 'anybody lived in a lovely how town', E. E. Cummings involves language in a capricious way. "Anyone" lived, not someone: Whoever, it doesn't matter. The fact is that the subject of Cummings' sonnet is unequivocally conventional, and could be just about anybody.

The phrase "pretty how town" follows. Which pretty town? Fine is a pretty town; If we're talking about cow towns from the Old West and the frontier, even a pretty "cow town" would be acceptable in English.

However, the adjective "how" should not be used to qualify "town." It's as if Cummings is asking us to imagine how beautiful a town might be; as if the statement, "I know it’s a town, but it was somehow pretty...," is being telegraphed. In other words, it isn't all that pretty.

'anybody lived in a lovely how town' is, as dickinson Emily's 'I'm Nobody! Who are you? a poem about being unknown and anonymous. A man by the name of anyone lives in a typical town, never marries, and eventually dies: The poem, written in Cummings' signature style, depicts the everyday life of the average American.

Naturally, the fact that "noone," the lover and wife of "anyone," is not simply his compliment (they are both anybody, and therefore, also, nobody in particular) is part of the fun of the poem: Writing that "noone loved him more by more" (with "more by more" cleverly joining "little by little" with "more and more") implies that "anyone" is not loved; in any case, there is a huge improvement between the ladies and men 'car[ing] for anybody not the slightest bit' (not really focusing on this specific anybody, or only anybody overall: either is applicable here) and "nobody lov[ing] him."

To put it another way, the poem is a celebration of anonymity and the fact that it is perfectly possible to love and be loved without being special and to live a full and exciting life. Being "anyone" suffices.

Is "anyone lived in a pretty how town" a memento mori or a reminder that we will eventually pass away? Not exactly, since "anyone's" death is shown at the end of a description of his life and marriage, and the poem gives the impression of being stoic about his demise.

However, the poem makes use of the term "bells" to make reference to the rites and ceremonies that mark our lives (births and christenings; marriage; passing and burial services) expands the concentration out from 'anybody' to ages of standard modest community anyone as the years progressed, many years, hundreds of years. 

Anyone lived in a pretty how town


Post a Comment

Back To Top