Continuing with my poetry articles, I thought I would include a poem by the widely-respected E. E. Cummings. His poems are admired for the style and the vast array of topics he tackles. His poems have a lot of different styles to them so no two have the same format. This poem is about four girls going to the beach which I thought was fitting because the summer is right around the corner. My three best friends and I constantly go to the beach in the summer so this made me really excited about the great times we'll have in just a few weeks! I hope this poem gets you excited for the great days at the beach we all love. Enjoy!
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.
This poem just opens us up to our feelings about the sea and which character we may relate to the most. I really relate to this poem because my three best friends and I go to the beach almost every day in the summer and would probably have very different views of the beach because we are all very different. We have a lot of differences but can also relate on so many things that it really strengthens our friendship when we do not all agree all the time. Each of us definitely have different views of what the beach means to us, just like the four characters in this poem.
Some people are like Maggie and find beautiful rocks, shells, and sea glass that make you forget about your troubles, even just for a little while.
Some people find creatures like crabs or starfish and get curious about all of the other things they could find on the beach like Milly.
Some people get scared of the possible fish and sharks they could find in the water, like Molly, and imagine all of the gross things touching their feet.
And some people are like May, finding rocks that can make us feel like we are holding the entire world in our hand while also feeling so small as just a tiny part of the world.
I can relate to a lot of the topics the characters talk about because I love going to the beach but it definitely means different things to me than to my friends. The beach is red skin and the smell of sunblock. The beach is relaxing on a beach towel with my friends while the incessant sounds of waves crashing and people talking calm me as I roast in the sun. It means tanning so that I am a slightly darker, but basically still translucent, shade of white. It means laughing with my friends, wearing sweatshirts as we walk on the beach at sunset. It means ice cream and iced coffee and snacks that make us all happy. It means wearing bathing suits that I hate with the people I love. It means not thinking about what people think of you because you’re having too much fun to care. It means flips flops and cute tops and walking in the sand. It means clear and salty skin that lets all the sun in.
The sea can mean so many different things to so many people, and maybe it’s just because I am counting down the days to my summer vacation, but I cannot wait to go to the beach with my friends. I might change my mind a few weeks from now when my skin is bright red and I have sand all over my body, but it will definitely be worth it.