Punctuation and Poems

The other day, I linked to a post at Kill Zone Blog about punctuation. That post included an Emily Dickenson poem, which is a great choice for looking at dashes, certainly. But it made me think of other poems and poets that march to a different punctuation drum, such as:

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

That’s by, of course, ee cummings. I’m sure you all realized that, even if you have never encountered this particular poem before. I don’t remember ever seeing it before in my life, but I like it a lot, so I’m happy to share it with you all. As small as a world and as large as alone. That’s a wonderful line.

Also, more distracting than any possible use of punctuation or capitalization — lack of spaces! Does anybody else think so? I’m wondering what effect that is supposed to produce, and whether it produces that effect. It makes me pause, startled, every time.

Please Feel Free to Share:


2 thoughts on “Punctuation and Poems”

  1. My favourite e.e. cummings poem:





    Very effective use of parentheses, I must say! And spacing.

    I also love the line, “with up so floating many bells down” from the poem “anyone lived in a pretty how town”.

    And now I’m going off to read a bunch of e.e. cummings poems!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top