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anyone lived in a pretty how town Summary & Analysis
by E. E. Cummings

“anyone lived in a pretty how town” originally appeared as “No. 29” in E. E. Cummings’s 1940 collection 50 poems. The poem describes a community in which everyone generally keeps to themselves. The townspeople progress through life in a familiar, socially-expected pattern—growing up, getting married, raising a family—in hopes of finding success. Amidst such monotony, a man named anyone finds true love and companionship with a woman named noone. Through their story, the speaker explores such subjects as the pressure to conform and the power of meaningful relationships. Repeating phrases appear throughout the poem, highlighting both the indifference of the natural world and the unchanging routines that the townspeople cycle through generation after generation.

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