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Published on Jun 20, 2010
A sad, poignant little poem from the master of the perverse. It's not at all easy to read or to understand. It's about a man, "anyone", and a woman, "noone", who loves him. Others are "someones" and "everyones." That's all you need to know, really.
One of Cummings' favourite devices is the "dying fall" - as it was called in Twelfth Night - the rhyme and metre lead you to anticipate something that doesn't happen. Here's a crude example (not Cummings):
When you started Reading this You thought it was Going to be poetry Didn't you?
There was an Old Miller of Dee Who was stung on the nose by a wasp When they asked "Does it hurt" He replied "No it don't But I'm glad it wasn't a hornet."