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
“maggie and milly and molly and may” is a poem by E.E Cummings, it illustrates four young girls going down to the beach to play one afternoon. While at the beach, Maggie finds a seashell and listens to the sounds it makes, Milly finds and helps a beached star fish, a crab chases Molly and frightens her, May finds a smooth stone and takes it home with her, the speaker in the poem finishes with a profound statement; that going to the sea is a way to get in touch with who we are. This poem portrays children at play and uses them as a tool to show a broad statement about life. Whether you view the children as characters or aspects of the self, the main theme is the search for identity. Each girl finds something at the sea that is quite unlike what the others find. Maggie is the ‘thinker’, she ponders the troubles of the world. Milly is the ‘sensitive’ one, she focuses on the needs of others. Molly is the innocent one, she is naïve towards the ways of the world. May is the dreamer, she views and imagines things beyond the normal spectrum of thinking. The last lines of the poem tie together the theme through needing to find oneself. Four lines I like most are the last two stanzas. I like the second last stanza because it involves a simile and metaphor, ‘as small as the world and as large as alone’. Also it has a deeper meaning under laying like perhaps this suggests that her experience is...