Study Guide

Maggie and Milly and Molly and May Exploration

By E.E. Cummings

Exploration

Take a step out in nature every day and each time you're bound to discover something new. That impulse to explore and discover is central to "maggie and milly and molly and may." Sometimes people lose that impulse in the business of everyday life, but our speaker reminds us that, if we just have fun now and then, we too might find something we weren't necessarily looking for. That lack of intent, in favor of playfulness, opens the door to new ideas and adventures while also shedding some light into who we are as individuals.

Questions About Exploration

  1. What's the best way to explore, according to the speaker? What's the difference between exploring with grim determination and exploring with a more playful attitude?
  2. How does loss relate to the poem's theme of exploration? If we lose one thing, what might we also find in the absence of that thing?
  3. Who would make a better explorer: a kid or an adult? Why do you think so? How would the speaker answer this question?
  4. How does each line break between stanzas help to support the poem's theme of exploration? What do you think is happening in those spaces between each character's experience?

Chew on This

Listen up, fuddy-duddies. The poem's playful mood suggests that maybe the adult explorers of the world can learn something from these girls.

Curiosity is essential to any exploration in the poem, especially since it seems to open the doors of imagination, which makes any discovery all the more fulfilling and insightful.

This is a premium product

Tired of ads?

Join today and never see them again.

Please Wait...