‘maggie and milly and molly and may’ (1956)
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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
Poem © 1956. 1984, 1991 by the Trustees of the E.E. Cummings Trust, from 'Complete Poems: 1904-1962' by E.E. Cummings, edited by George J. Firmage. Used by permission of Liveright Publishing Corporation.