Another poem

maggie and milly and molly and may
by E. E. Cummings


maggie and milly 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

milly 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

Copyright © 1956, 1984, 1991 by the Trustees for the E. E. Cummings Trust from The Complete Poems: 1904-1962 by E. E. Cummings, Edited by George J. Firmage. Reprinted by permission of Liveright Publishing Corporation. All rights reserved.


The Minstrel Boy said...

i have always admired the way cummings could write things that appeared to be doggerel but were, in fact, elegantly constructed and complex works.

maurinsky said...

I almost ignored this one, but that last line got to me. I swear, I can feel the ocean in my womb when I sit on the beach, it makes me feel really connected to the earth.

Bee said...

A few random comments:

Did you know that there is an English storybook character called Milly-Molly-Mandy? The books are for beginning readers, and they have been around for several generations. My oldest daughter was very fond of the series. Do you suppose that the author borrowed from cummings, or was it the other way around, or did both authors just stumble upon these names -- with their alliterative appeal?

I love the way cummings plays with language. The word "mudluscious" is coming to mind.

I didn't know anything about Christopher Durang. I just googled Laughing Wild and discovered it was one of his plays. Wikipedia made me laugh! It described the plot like this:

"The show is written for one actor and one actress. The woman's character is emotional and unstable, and talks about hitting someone in the supermarket who wouldn't get out of the way of the tuna fish she wanted to buy. The man's character is giving a speech about positive thinking, but keeps spiraling into negativity."

Reading this, I felt quite sure that you (humorously!) identified.
So did Durang borrow from Gray, or did both men independently hit on this marvelous phrase?

maurinsky said...

I borrowed the title of my blog from that play. When I used to do a lot of community theater, one of the monologues by the rather unhinged female character was my audition piece. Durang borrowed from Samuel Beckett (from his play Happy Days), who borrowed it from Thomas Gray.

I chose it because that's what I felt like I had to do in these trying political times - and this blog started as mostly politics, but I'm totally burnt out on the subject now - laugh wild amid severest woe.

I love Christopher Durang.

Bee said...

Thank you for the derivation of your great blog name! And I'm with you on the political bit . . . and also the burnt-out bit. When you've been laughing wildly for almost 8 years, you do tend to get worn out. I'm really glad that I don't live in the States right now. The upcoming election is driving me crazy. Why do they have to spend two years on the primaries?

I have to look into Durang. I'm woefully unaware of many contemporary playwrights.

BTW, I randomly clicked on Basket of Kisses and discovered her wacky site devoted to the love of Mad Men. Another shared favorite!

maurinsky said...

bee, I don't know why we have these long, drawn out elections. It's infuriating. I guess what happens is that each time, candidates are trying to get the jump on their competition.

RE: Mad Men. I love that show.

somewaterytart said...

Hey, I just discovered (via Internet perusings) that 'Siobhan' is the Gaelic form of 'Joanna.' So your daughter and I have the same name. Hmm. That is interesting.

maurinsky said...

Hey, I just discovered (via Internet perusings) that 'Siobhan' is the Gaelic form of 'Joanna.' So your daughter and I have the same name. Hmm. That is interesting.

I guess part of me knew that I would meet you, so I preemptively named her after you.

(Actually, my husband picked the name as a Gaelic equivalent to Joan, which was the name of his college roommate's mother, a woman he just loved.)

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