1944 | New York

E.E. Cummings Told Him

A poem on the price of war.

plato told

him:he couldn’t
believe it(jesus

told him;he
wouldn’t believe
it)lao

tsze
certainly told
him,and general
(yes

mam)
sherman;
and even
(believe it
or

not)you
told him:i told
him;we told him
(he didn’t believe it,no

sir)it took
a nipponized bit of
the old sixth

avenue
el;in the top of his head:to tell

him

Contributor

E.E. Cummings

The final lines of e.e. cummings’ poem refer to Manhattan’s dismantled Sixth Avenue elevated tracks, which were bought as scrap metal by Imperial Japan three years before the bombing of Pearl Harbor.