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nobody loses all the time

The Favorite Poem Project: Perry Barton reads e. e. cummings

Perry Barton, exhibition and publication coordinator at the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center

“nobody loses all the time” by e. e. cummings

“Cummings has a tendency to be remembered for his slightly sentimental verses. The thing I liked about ‘nobody loses all the time’ was its lack of sentimentality and its sense of perseverance. A real ‘suck it up and get on with it’ poem.”

“By reading poems we love aloud, we can learn how much pleasure there can be in the sounds of words,” says Robert Pinsky, a College of Arts and Sciences professor of English and former U.S. poet laureate. “It’s as though saying the words of a poem aloud makes one feel more able, more capable than in ordinary life. You enter a different state.”

Pinsky founded the Favorite Poem Project in 1997 during the first of an unprecedented three terms as poet laureate to encourage Americans to celebrate and explore their love of poetry. Since then, the project — now directed by BU poet Maggie Dietz (GRS’97) — has produced three anthologies and more than 1,000 readings around the country.

Throughout the semester, BU Today features a member of the BU community reading his or her favorite poem. Any student or faculty or staff member can participate.

If you’d like to read your favorite poem for BU Today, e-mail us at today@bu.edu.


Click here to listen to Justin Lamb (COM’07) read Rives.

Click here to listen to Kathy Kuhn read Wallace Stevens.

Click here to listen to Andrew Clark read Robert Hass.

Click here to listen to Hakim Walker (CAS’09) read Martin Luther King, Jr.

Click here to listen to an autumn’s worth of favorite poems.