The Lists #12 by John King
Literature Questions for Further Discussion (e.e. cummings’ “anyone lived in a pretty how town”)
- If e.e. cummings’s “anyone lived in a pretty how town” is an allegory for obscure figures from The Holy Bible, who would anyone and who would noone be?
- Recite the poem naked. Doesn’t that sound better? What changes in the timbre of your voice?
- Why do you think “Women” is the only word cummings capitalizes in the poem? Speculate about when cummings stopped suckling upon his mother’s throbbing breast.
- Pinpoint the nearest pretty how town to where you live on Google Earth. Now read the poem again. Notice anything different?
- What do you think cummings’s neighbors were like? Did they slurp tea in the afternoon, and squint through Venetian blinds at the snowy yard?
- How is a pretty what town different than a pretty how town? What does that difference do to the psyche? How would you feel shaving in such a difference?
- How long can you hold your breath?
John King (Episode, well, all of them) is a podcaster, writer, and ferret wrangler.