Use Of Grammar And Punctuation Of `` Anyone Lived On A Pretty How Town `` By E. Cummings

Use Of Grammar And Punctuation Of `` Anyone Lived On A Pretty How Town `` By E. Cummings

Length: 1120 words (3.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

E. E. Cummings ' "anyone lived in a pretty how town" is often interpreted as a love poem (Macksoud 72), but it can be analyzed more deeply to reflect societal themes. Cummings ' use of grammar and punctuation is unconventional and at the same time organized in a way that draws the reader to certain conclusions about the way the citizens of the "how town" live. None of the protagonists are given a name, and yet knowing their titles—"anyone," "women and men," "children," "someone," "everyone," and "noone"—and analyzing the contrast between the individual and the group is essential to understanding the message the poem conveys (Kidder 143).
During E. E. Cummings ' life, he made many arguments in favor of individualism and condemned conformity. During a speech at Harvard, he once stated, "So far as I am concerned, poetry and every other art was, is, and forever will be strictly and distinctly a question of individuality" ("E. E. Cummings"). His unique writing style is also a testament to how he valued individuality and creativity—how his poetic style was drastically different from most of the poetry that had been written before him.
"Anyone lived in a pretty how town" begins with "anyone" who is a typical—and individual—citizen in this town. He is presented as an average person, with little detail about his personal life. It can be inferred, however, that he is enthusiastic, as he "sang his didn 't" and "danced his did" (line 3), happily doing whatever is asked of him, whether or not it is something he wants to do (Kidder 144). Despite his cheerful disposition, it seems that he is unimportant to the rest of the town. The "women and men"—a group rather than an individual—"cared for anyone not at all" (line 6), and Cummings ...


... middle of paper ...


...attention to the idea that the townspeople are cold and indifferent to the dead.
Knowing now the contrast between the individuals and the overall group of townspeople, it is easier to hypothesize why Cummings called his poem 's setting a "pretty how town." Out of all the questions one could ask, the most profound is "why." In a place with a group of people focused on their daily existence, who do not care for "anyone," and who quickly overcome tragic events, it is unlikely that they would ask why something happens. The most thoughtful question they might ask is "how" it happens, and then they would continue with their own lives (Macksoud 73). Cummings makes the point in his poem that everyone has the potential to be a passionate "anyone," but as time passes and people come together in a society, they begin to lose their uniqueness and eventually stop caring.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Time in Thomas’ Fern Hill and Cummings’ anyone lived in a pretty how town

- "Historically speaking,…time is lost; poetically speaking,…time is regained in the act of visionary creation" (Crewe 400). Poetry allows for the capture of a moment in time otherwise lost in the blink of an eye. British poet Dylan Thomas and American poet E.E. Cummings have both been noted for the recurring themes of passage of time in their poetry. In Thomas’ "Fern Hill" and Cummings’ "anyone lived in a pretty how town," both modern poets utilize a juxtaposition of paradoxes to express the irrevocable passage of time and the loss of innocence attributed to it....   [tags: anyone lived in a pretty how town]

Better Essays
3545 words (10.1 pages)

An Interpretation of E.E. Cummings' Anyone Lived in a Pretty How Town Essay

- An Interpretation of E.E. Cummings' Anyone Lived in a Pretty How Town E.E. Cummings (1894-1962) is an American Poet whose works are some of the harder ones to understand. That's what Cummings is known for, his typography, language, punctuation, and his use of capital letters to give words special meanings. It has been stated that he has his own language known as Cummingsian. Cummings has done a lot of experimentation with language along with other poets during the Modernist era. Not only was Cummings an artistic writer and poet but he was an accomplished painter as well....   [tags: Cummings Anyone Lived Pretty How Town]

Better Essays
782 words (2.2 pages)

Essay An Analysis of E.E. Cummings' Anyone Lived in a Pretty How Town

- An Analysis of E.E. Cummings' Anyone Lived in a Pretty How Town In reading this poem the first time, I had no clue as to what Cummings was speaking of. However, after many times through and several on-line readings, I believe that I have some semblance as to what Cummings was trying to convey in this poem. In reading this poem through on my own the first time, I saw Anyone as any person. However, Anyone is actually an individual, as is Noone. Anyone is seen to be a happy person as in line 4, he is seen singing and dancing....   [tags: Cummings Anyone Lived Pretty How Town]

Better Essays
770 words (2.2 pages)

Anyone lived in a pretty how town Essay

- “Anyone lived in a pretty how town,” by E.E. Cummings, is a poem that alludes to the circle of life and how birth and death are a natural part of this cycle. This meaning is conveyed by a complex metaphor; broken down, this metaphor slides away to reveal the true social commentary behind it. This poem is an allegory; the speaker uses pronouns with unclear antecedents to mask the true meaning and add poetic flair to the simple belief he or she presents. The first poetic device the speaker uses to convey his or her meaning in this poem is the unorthodox grammar and sentence structure....   [tags: Literary Analysis, E.E. Cummings]

Free Essays
851 words (2.4 pages)

Grammar : Grammar And The Structure Of A Language Essay

- Grammar is how to put words together to form proper sentences. In linguistics, grammar is the set of structural rules governing the composition of clauses, phrases, and words in any given natural language. The term refers also to the study of rules, and this field includes morphology, syntax, and phonology, often complemented by phonetics, semantics, and pragmatics. Grammar is the study of words and the ways words work together. It is also the study of the way the sentences of a language are constructed; morphology and syntax....   [tags: Linguistics, Grammar, Sentence, Syntax, Education]

Better Essays
872 words (2.5 pages)

Essay on Descriptive Grammar Vs Prescriptive Grammar

- Descriptive Grammar Vs. Prescriptive Grammar When grammar is put to use in a society, people will often have different beliefs at what is the "right" or "proper" usage. This had led to the formation of two widely accepted forms of grammar, Prescriptivism and Descriptivism. These forms will often separate those who believe their form of grammar is the only correct way from those who use many forms they find to be acceptable. Descriptive grammar is formed by analyzing how speakers use a language, and deducing the rules they follow....   [tags: Linguistics, Grammar, Syntax, Sociolinguistics]

Better Essays
1211 words (3.5 pages)

"Anyone Lived in a Pretty How Town" Analysis Essay

- The poem “anyone lived in a pretty how town” by E.E. Cummings talks about the cycle of life and the importance of structure, symbolism, and language of the poem. For instance, the poem has nine stanzas, which has a rhyming pattern of AABC. The rhythm of the poem is significant for it supports one of themes, the cycle of life. Cumming uses season to explain the poem's progress. “spring summer autumn winter” (3) and “sun moon stars rain” (8) symbolizes time passing, which represents life passing. In the poem, as the seasons and skies rotate, life continues along with them....   [tags: Poetry Analysis]

Better Essays
487 words (1.4 pages)

Anyone Lived Into A Pretty How Town, By. Cummings Essay

- The poem, “anyone lived in a pretty how town,” by E.E. Cummings paints a postcard perfect Wisteria Lane-esque town, but it is far from the suburban utopia that one might think. It is hard to follow one’s dreams or to be able to express one’s individuality with the pressure of society and their preconceived idea of how life should be. Even the economy can be a factor to living one’s life. Responsibilities and bills start to add up, seasons come and go and eventually one is belled down by society....   [tags: Death, Life, Poetry, Death]

Better Essays
1347 words (3.8 pages)

Effective Use of Dialogue in All the Pretty Horses Essay

- Effective Use of Dialogue in All the Pretty Horses All the Pretty Horses, by Cormac McCarthy, is, among other things, an exploration of its main character, John Grady Cole. The author chooses words carefully and sparingly when creating dialogue for Cole. In doing so, McCarthy creates poetic effects and rich meaning from limited verbiage. This novelist lets his readers get to know his main character largely through dialogue instead of through direct description. In this way, readers find the techniques used by McCarthy similar to those used by Ernest Hemingway in many of his books and short stories....   [tags: Pretty Horses Essays]

Better Essays
860 words (2.5 pages)

All the Pretty Horses Essay

- All the Pretty Horses John Grady is not your average cowboy. All the Pretty Horses is not your typical coming-of-age story. This is an honest tale. Cormac McCarthy follows John Grady as he embarks on his journey of self-discovery across the border. Armed with a few pesos in his pocket, a strong horse and a friend at his side, John Grady thinks he’s ready to take on the Wild West of Mexico. At their final steps in America, a stranger, aged thirteen, joins our heroes. This unexpected variable named Blevins challenges John Grady, testing his character and pushing him to uncomfortable limits....   [tags: All Pretty Horses Essays]

Better Essays
1459 words (4.2 pages)