ENC 1102.1729 Selected Poems site

This page contains the selected poems for ENC 1102.1729. I suggest that you print them out so that you can annotate them as you read through them. Each entry contains the following items:

  • the poet's name (as s/he spelled it)
  • the poem's "title" (if the poet gave it a title; otherwise the first line of the poem serves as the title, and is thus placed in brackets -- when you refer to the poem, however, place the title in quotation marks as customary)
  • when possible, the original publication year
  • the poem itself (with referential line numbers to the right, in smaller type and underlined); all punctuation, capitalization, etc. have been scrupulously checked and duplicate the original
  • the citation information for that poem (the publication information for the anthology in which the poem appears).
    (The Emily Dickinson sections carries the same information, but in slightly different order.)

    Don't forget the appropriate poetry terms on the Terms list site!

    »» e.e. cummings, [anyone lived in a pretty how town] (1940)

    anyone lived in a pretty how town
    (with up so floating many bells down)
    spring summer autmun winter
    he sang his didn't he danced his did.

    Women and men (both little and small)
    cared for anyone not at all
    they sowed their isn't they reaped their same
    sun moon stars rain

    children guessed (but only a few
    and down they forgot as up they grew 10
    autumn winter spring summer)
    that noone loved him more by more

    when by now and tree by leaf
    she laughed his joy she cried his grief
    bird by snow and stir by still
    anyone's any was all to her

    someones married their everyones
    laughed their cryings and did their dance
    (sleep wake hope and then) they
    said their nevers they slept their dream 20

    stars rain sun moon
    (and only the snow can begin to explain
    how children are apt to forget to remember
    with up so floating many bells down)

    one day anyone died i guess
    (and noone stooped to kiss his face)
    busy folk buried them side by side
    little by little and was by was

    all by all and deep by deep
    and more by more they dream their sleep 30
    noone and anyone earth by april
    wish by spirit and if by yes.

    Women and men (both dong and ding)
    summer autmun winter spring
    reaped their sowing and went their came
    sun moon stars rain

    Anthology of American Literature, Volume II: Realism to the Present. 4 ed. Ed. George McMichael. New York: Macmillan, 1989. 1211.

    »» Gwendolyn Brooks, "a song in the front yard" (1944)

    I've stayed in the front yard all my life.
    I want a peek at the back
    Where it's rough and untended and hungry weed grows
    A girl gets sick of a rose.

    I want to go in the back yard now
    And maybe down the alley,
    To where the charity children play.
    I want a good time today.

    They do some wonderful things.
    They have some wonderful fun. 10
    My mother sneers but I say it's fine
    How they don't have to go in at quarter to nine.
    My mother, she tells me that Johnnie Mae
    Will grow up to be a bad woman.
    That George'll be taken to Jail soon or late
    (On account of last winter he sold our back gate).

    But I say it's fine. Honest, I do.
    And I'd like to be a bad woman, too,
    And wear the brave stockings of night-black lace
    And strut down the street with paint on my face. 20

    Selected Poems. New York: Harper and Row, 1963.6.

    »» Emily Dickinson

  • 288 [I'm Nobody! Who are you?]
    I'm Nobody! Who are you?
    Are you -- Nobody -- Too?
    Then there's a pair of us!
    don't tell! they'd advertise -- you know!

    How dreary -- to be -- Somebody! 5
    How public -- like a Frog --
    To tell one's name -- the livelong June --
    To an admiring Bog!


  • 465 [I heard a Fly buzz -- when I died --]
    I heard a Fly buzz -- when I died --
    The Stillness in the Room
    Was like the Stillness in the Air --
    Between the Heaves of Storm --

    The Eyes around -- had wrung them dry -- 5
    And Breaths were gathering firm
    For that last Onset -- when the King
    Be witnesed -- in the Room --

    I willed my Keepsakes -- Signed away
    What portion of me be 10
    Assignable -- and then it was
    There interposed a Fly--

    With Blue -- uncertain stumbling Buzz --
    Between the light -- and me --
    And then the Windows failed -- and then 15
    I could not see to see --


  • 1489 [A Dimple in the Tomb]
    A Dimple in the Tomb
    Makes that ferocious Room
    A Home --

    The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson. Ed. Thomas H. Johnson. Boston: Litle, Brown & Co. , 1960. 133, 223-224, 628.
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