What the Hell Does “Anyone Lived in a Pretty How Town” Mean?

What the Hell Does “Anyone Lived in a Pretty How Town” Mean?

(((Literary critics))) have applauded the poem “Anybody Lived in a Pretty How Town” by E.E. Cummings. The poem is included in most literary anthologies, spreading confusion from Los Angeles to New York. But what does it mean? And what is a “how” town anyway? For years, I tried to make sense of the poem but was unable to; like so many students (as well as teachers), I was clueless about the meaning.

So today, let’s see if we can make up an E.E. Cumming’s poem. I have three to get the ball rolling…

  • Anybody Lived in a Pretty What Village
  • Anybody Lived in a Pretty Where City
  • Anybody Lived in a Pretty When Ghetto

You get the picture…my titles make no sense. And neither does the Cumming’s one. So why is it applauded then?

To understand the Cumming’s poem (and its modern approach) we need to review the history of 19th-century Europe; i.e. to understand an event, you need the study history that proceeded it. So when we review 19th-century European history, we find the ongoing struggle between a Christian majority and a Jewish minority. No book highlights the struggle better than Solzhenitsyn’s Two Hundred Years Together. The cultural battles of the 19th-century bled into the 20th, and that’s when modernism begins.

What is modernism? Simply put, it’s a Jewish attempt to subvert European culture. The point is obvious when you review the originators of modern art. The Jewish goal was to replace the art of European history (pieces that depicted real-life heroes) with ambiguous structures: i.e. a German soldier on a horse was replaced with a shapeless blob. By doing so, Jews could erase the physical reminders of Christian heroes from Europe. Once these images were scrubbed clean, the Christian majority would become more accepting of a Jewish minority; and in turn, more accepting of its transgressions.

So what does “Anyone Lived in a Pretty How Town” mean? Nothing…and that’s the point.

You’re supposed to be confused. You’re supposed to be lost. You’re supposed to be misdirected. It’s an educational red herring, designed to distract you from the history of Christian civilization.

Note that Cummings himself was not Jewish, That being said, he imbibed the cultural sentiments of his time. And in order to become popular, he had to embrace modernism. We can see a similar correlation in America today. If you want to be popular, you have to take a shit on Christian values: i.e. Madonna, Lady Gaga, etc.

What is the purpose of poetry? It should lift you to lofty heights. It’s a wave of pleasure, rolling over your body. It’s the magical power of emotion, brought to life. Poetry is the flower unfolding, the blossom blooming: the beauty of life made available to the world.

Poetry is not E.E. Cummings.

See Related Article: Poetry Review: A Critique on “August 1968” by W.H. Auden


Poetry Review: A Critique of “August 1968” by W.H. Auden

Poetry Review: A Critique of “August 1968” by W.H. Auden

W.H Auden’s poem “August 1968” captures the spirit of its time:

“The Ogre does what ogres can,
Deeds quite impossible for Man,
But one prize is beyond his reach:
The Ogre cannot master Speech.

About a subjugated plain,
Among the desperate and slain,
The Ogre stalks with hands on hips,
While drivel gushes from his lips.”

The poem is a critique of war. The Ogre is a representation of the militaristic: the rockets and the tanks. And the title of “August 1968” is a reference to the Vietnam War.

But Auden is wrong. The Ogre is not some physically, vile creature. He’s not an ugly monster, a la Shrek. He’s not a deformed soldier, running through the jungles with a rifle in his hand. He’s not strong.

The Ogre is a broken person. He (or she) is debased and jealous. He despises the happiness of others – he wants to destroy the beautiful. He want to soil the healthy marriage, or the profitable business.

The Ogre is a weakling.