maggie and milly and molly and may

by e. e. cummings 

beach day

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

* * *

I like this poem because it’s light and playful, filled with the wonder of childhood, and about connecting with nature especially the sea shore.  Having grown up on Cape Cod, I really connect with it.

* * *

The poem is set to music in this collection by Natalie Merchant.

If you are interesting in checking out more of e. e. cummings poetry (not sure if it includes this poem)…  This volume includes some of e. e. cumming’s drawings and paintings.



I'm a practical mom inspired by nature & I enjoy sharing ideas that encourage kids' innate curiosity & creativity. Interested in subscribing? Check out the blue box at the top of my sidebar. I'm also a wannabe author/illustrator & product designer by day. Let's connect! If you purchase through my Amazon links I get a small commission at no additional cost to you (thanks for supporting Doodles and Jots)! And remember to always credit your source here & elsewhere on the internet.


  1. My favorite e.e. cummings poem is “She Being Brand…” I like how the meaning can shift depending on the tone and pacing of the reading that is given to the poem. Then again, I suppose that’s a hallmark of his style.

  2. I love e.e. cummings. For some reason, he was really popular when I was in architecture school, and it was very in vogue to know his work. Maybe it’s due to the form he writes in? Many poems have these three or four word lines, so on the page the poem looks like a tall, thin column. I dunno, but I really enjoy reading them!
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