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
We know many a water-obsessed preschooler (and parent) who has just this set of "musts" and "all I asks" -- don't you? Wherever the tides take your tall ship, here's wishing you fun with that laughing fellow-rover and, well, exactly what the last l... read more
We associate the words of Baroness Karen Blixen, writing as Isak Dinesen, with the dry, wide savannah of East Africa. Perhaps it shouldn't surprise us, though, that she too adored the ocean. Our preschoolers too seem to recognize intuitively that... read more