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Short poem

e. e. cummings (1894-1962)

"kitty". sixteen, 5' 11", white, prostitute

              1"kitty". sixteen, 5' 11", white, prostitute.

              2ducking always the touch of must and shall,
              3whose slippery body is Death's littlest pal,

              4skilled in quick softness. Unspontaneous. cute.

              5the signal perfume of whose unrepute
              6focusses in the sweet slow animal
              7bottomless eyes importantly banal,

              8Kitty. a whore. Sixteen
                                            you corking brute
              9amused from time to time by clever drolls
            10fearsomely who do keep their sunday flower.
            11The babybreasted broad "kitty" twice eight

            12--beer nothing, the lady'll have a whiskey-sour--

            13whose least amazing smile is the most great
            14common divisor of unequal souls.


14] A common divisor in arithmetic divides two or more different (i.e., unequal) numbers without leaving a remainder, i.e., goes perfectly into them. Here the greatest common divisor, that which goes perfectly into the most persons, is Kitty's usual smile.

Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: "Chimneys," "SONNETS--REALITIES," V, Tulips and Chimneys (New York: Thomas Seltzer, October 25, 1923): 113. Firmage A3a, Berg Collection, New York Public Library. (e.e.c. copy with autograph corrections.)
First publication date: 1923
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: RPO 2000.
Recent editing: 2:2001/12/12

Form: sonnet
Rhyme: abbaabbacdedec

Other poems by e. e. cummings