Sunday, June 14, 2015

Sunday Poetry - Edna St Vincent Millay

Edna St Vincent Millay wrote many sonnets & I especially like this early sonnet about the grief of missing a loved one.

Time does not bring relief; you all have lied  
Who told me time would ease me of my pain!  
I miss him in the weeping of the rain;  
I want him at the shrinking of the tide;
The old snows melt from every mountain-side,  
And last year’s leaves are smoke in every lane;  
But last year’s bitter loving must remain
Heaped on my heart, and my old thoughts abide.  
There are a hundred places where I fear  
To go,—so with his memory they brim.  
And entering with relief some quiet place  
Where never fell his foot or shone his face  
I say, “There is no memory of him here!”  
And so stand stricken, so remembering him.


  1. this is my favourite one of her poems. sadly the format doesn't translate into a comments box:

    Dirge Without Music

    I am not resigned to the shutting away of loving hearts in the hard ground.
    So it is, and so it will be, for so it has been, time out of mind:
    Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely. Crowned
    With lilies and with laurel they go; but I am not resigned.

    Lovers and thinkers, into the earth with you.
    Be one with the dull, the indiscriminate dust.
    A fragment of what you felt, of what you knew,
    A formula, a phrase remains, - but the best is lost.

    The answers quick and keen, the honest look, the laughter, the love,
    They are gone. They have gone to feed the roses. Elegant and curled
    Is the blossom. Fragrant is the blossom. I know. But I do not approve.
    More precious was the light in your eyes than all the roses in the world.

    Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave
    Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind;
    Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave.
    I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned.