maggie and milly and molly and may
by e.e. cummings

maggie and millie 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

millie 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.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Edward Estlin Cummings (1894–1962) was an American poet, painter, essayist, author, and playwright. His body of work encompasses approximately 2,900 poems, two autobiographical novels, four plays and several essays, as well as numerous drawings and paintings. During his lifetime, Cummings received numerous awards in recognition of his work, including: Dial Award (1925), Guggenheim Fellowship (1933), Shelley Memorial Award for Poetry (1944), Harriet Monroe Prize from Poetry magazine (1950), Fellowship of American Academy of Poets (1950), Guggenheim Fellowship (1951), Charles Eliot Norton Professorship at Harvard (1952–1953), and Bollingen Prize in Poetry (1958).