Wise Words from e.e. cummings

BeingSavvy
August 8, 2008

e.e. cummings is a master of mood in his poems, and we are especially captivated by this one. It so delightfully captures the feeling of a day at the beach with your friends, both human and the ones carried in by the tide. And something about the punctuation and the almost breathless rush of names and details in the storytelling reminds us so much of the tales that tumble from a preschooler's lips.

Read it today and you'll want to pack your bag for the shore. Read it again in January and you'll have to squint as the sunshine glares up off the page (or screen, as the case may be).

"maggie and milly and molly and may
went down to the beach(to play one day)

and maggie discovered a shell that sang
so sweetly she couldn't remember her troubles,and

milly befriended a stranded star
whose rays five languid fingers were;

and molly was chased by a horrible thing
which raced sideways while blowing bubbles:and

may came home with a smooth round stone
as small as a world and as large as alone.

For whatever we lose(like a you or a me)
it's always ourselves we find in the sea"

-- e. e. cummings
from our cherished A Family of Poems, edited by Caroline Kennedy

From the Parents

Similar Articles

The Savvy Library

From the educational to the whimsical, our Savvy editors help you explore your world. You can search our 1969 articles by keyword, subject, or date.

Notable Selection

Below you'll find some of the more popular selections from the Savvy Library: