Analysis of “Anyone Lived in a Pretty How Town” by Cummings
“Anyone lived in a pretty how town” is a part of the poem’s collection written by Cummings. The poem represents a small society of people who lead ordinary life following the traditional cycle, such as getting married and creating a family to achieve something significant. The poem has two main characters, distinguishing them from the general population and the common way of life. The first one is called anyone and appears to be the man, and another one is noon, who is the woman. They eventually start a romantic relationship and share their love, and throughout history, their bond shows the significance of intense emotional connection. The essay observes the core messages of the poem, precisely social indifference, the power of true and solid feelings and the fluidity of time.
The topic at the poem’s core is connected with the concept of community. The author suggests that people are too busy following the same pattern of life and repeating it one generation after another that they become self-centered and indifferent to those around them. Townspeople’s desire to blindly fulfill their social needs and duties blocks their opportunity to see the world from different perspectives and experience life in its different forms.
However, fulfilled lives are impossible without true love, which is the message the author sends to the readers. It is worth mentioning that all the characters in the poem do not have names and stay anonymous as their existence continues. When the main characters find love, nobody pays attention to it or appreciates the beauty of the alliance when no one loved anyone that much that “laughed his joy she cried his grief (Cummings 14). Everyone is so busy and concentrated on their worries that even when no one and anyone dies, people are hardly touched. Throughout the poem, only a few kids have noticed that solid and romantic connection, but as they grow older, they have lost interest. The main characters illustrated that genuine human feelings do not need anyone’s recognition, especially when two people are happy.
Several symbols appear in the poem with their specific meanings. Bells emerge a few times, symbolizing the floating of time since bells usually ring on significant occasions such as weddings or funerals. Therefore, they mark different periods of life and serve as reminders that while people are concentrated on themselves and their routine, time inevitably passes. There is no chance to refill it. To support this point about uses multiple repeating images of seasons.
The continuous cycle of “spring, summer, autumn, winter” (Cummings 3) demonstrates that nature keeps existing and producing within its timeline and will not pause the development of people busy with their routine businesses. Moreover, the symbols of planting the seeds and repeating the harvest depict the uselessness of persons attempting to stick to the familiar ways of living. In an attempt to lead a fulfilled life, “they sowed there isn’t they reaped their same”, but eventually, it was only an illusion of the meaningful existence and essential occasions.
This poem is an excellent illustration of the social issues and human biases that are still relevant nowadays. As time passes, people live unconsciously without trying to stop and reflect on their actions and the pattern they follow from generation to generation. Therefore, individuals become indifferent to other people’s feelings, their struggles and expressions of deep emotional connections. Through the symbols of bells, seasons and planting, the author revealed the repeating ways of behavior and the pattern of living that deprives life of its meaningfulness and brightness.
Cummings, Edward, E. anyone lived in a pretty how town. Liveright Publishing Corporation, 1994.