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

See “Inside the Oyster Shells.” Seriously, click the link.

Natalie Merchant's musical setting of the Cummings poem, recorded live 25 March 2010. Listen to the studio version.

Another setting of the Cummings poem, with music by Joan Szymko, performed on 3 May 2015 by the Girl Choir of South Florida.

Sign at Beaver Lake Park in Sammamish, Washington.       +