Reading the poem, “any one lived in a pretty how town” written by Cummings often sticks in mind with the use of rhymes in its ambiance of reading. It generally describes life and the passage of time. In a deep and careful analysis, it symbolizes any person who is not affected by the routine changes of lifecycles. It addresses people who remain the same despite the passing on of time.
From the head of the poem to its body, it uses alteration, rhyme, consonance and assonance sound devices to stress on readers’ thinking of the world being centered on living persons. So, readers are challenged to think of their daily life while reading the poem.
The poet uses assonance in the poem by the stressing of letter “o”; from the phrases “anyone lived…..how down with…bells down”, “anyone not at all sowed…someone married their everyones…” the assonance has been used to describe the passage of life with ups and downs, which is a normal human life. The use of how and down describes the status of the condition in which human beings live, which is sometimes down. Someone married their “everyones” shows success because the marriage of everyone shows marrying the person you wish which is a success. (Nikunen 1)
The poem also uses consonance to express the same action of the passage of life of ups and downs. From the lines “…spring, summer…he sang his didn’t he danced his did…” shows that, life went on with failures. On the other hand, “spring, summer he sang his didn’t…he danced his did” signify success in life.
A rhetoric question is then asked to the readers on whether the anonym person really danced his did; “…he didn’t dance his did…”? It is used to ask the readers so as to put a flashback or to think of their lives. The poem uses several figures of speech to bring images and mood of the poem while reading.
The poem uses personification of giving noon, snow and bells a human character of being able to kiss and give an explanation. From the lines “…noon stopped to kiss his face…noon loved him more and more…and only the snow can begin to give explanations” personifies the objects. Personification has been used well to explain the flow of events in the life of a human being to their death where, the noon continuing to kiss a person symbolizes the continuation of life while its stopping to kiss means the end of life.
The poem has also used symbols to express the lifecycle of human beings; From the lines …but only a few and down they forget up they grew autumn, winter, spring summer…” these are seasons of the year which shows the lifecycle that a year must undergo. Also the line“…sun moon…” expresses day and night which a day’s life cycle is. The idea of growing has been symbolized by the daily and yearly lifecycles to symbolize the growth from childhood to old age leading to death. (Nikunen 2)
Metaphor has also been used in the poem to signify life, death and sincerity. From the lines “…only snow can begin to explain…,” snow is purely white in color which signifies purity, sincerity, sinless, it is used to show that it is the only object that can tell the truth. Bells and noon stopping to kiss are metaphors that show the passage of time and death respectively.
Imagery has been used in the poem to make the reader visualize the poem while reading. From the phrase “women and men both big and small didn’t care for any one at all”, big and small shows the size of the persons, positions they hold in a society and the respect they demand. Despite their state, they are still selfish to others. Images of moon, sun, rain and stars show the daily life cycles, they also show how the absence of one object may hinder the presence of the other.
Interdependence of phenomena has also been shown by the use of imagery, the poem asks why children grow up and forget their past which is important for their future; it is like having trees without leaves, the seasons; autumn, spring, winter and summer without each other, moon without the sun, birds without snow and stir without still.
The tone of the poem is of a pitiful mood. It arouses the mood of the readers to pity by the sequence of events while reading it. The poem shows a society with big and small men and women who show a non-caring personality to each other, sowing where there isn’t, reaping the same with those who sow, children forgetting as the grow, people laughing their crying, folks burying their relatives side by side. All these events raise a pitiful mood.