February 22, 2010

Edna St. Vincent Millay - (February 22, 1892 – October 19, 1950)

What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why,
I have forgotten, and what arms have lain
Under my head till morning, but the rain
Is full of ghosts tonight, that tap and sigh
Upon the glass and listen for reply,
And my heart there stirs a quiet pain
For unremembered lads that not again
Will turn to me at midnight with a cry.
Thus in the winter stands the lonely tree,
Nor knows what birds have vanished one by one,
Yet knows its boughs more silent than before:
I cannot say what loves have come and gone,
I only know that summer sang in me
A little while, that in me sings no more.


Rinkly Rimes said...

I had never read any of Edna St Vincent Millay's poems, until your blog introduced one and I liked it.I've now read several. Some I find too wordy, but some of the shorter ones are beautiful. I'll read some more later. Thank you.

Poetikat said...

I have a book of hers, and (like all my poetry books residing on the shelf)I must dig her out!

I can't help, but think her arm would be awfully numb for having borne the burden of a head all night!


Giulia said...

I love that photograph. Have you read Savage Beauty: The Life of Edna St. Vincent Millay? I greatly enjoyed it some years ago & is here on my shelves. She's urging me to come back to her; alas, JKeats has my attentions these days.

Thank you for this. The photo looks especially lovely against the deep robin's egg blue...


Susan & GG

word verification 'relic' - love it

vicki archer said...

Quite lovely....I am off to re watch Paris Je t' aime...thank you for the recommendation, xv.

A Thousand Clapping Hands said...

One of my favorites...and the photo too. And speaking of photos - the one of your great grandparents on their wedding day is a real treasure!


Diane said...

How achingly sad. But then some wags have said 'tis better to have loved and lost than ever to have loved and won.

gretchen said...

loving this stroll through history with poetry. wonderful. lest we forget.

willow said...

Happy Birthday to my dear, dear friend, Ms. St. Vee!! xx

Blog Princess G said...

I am late to poetry, but I love it and this is especially beautiful. I can't believe I've never read this particular one before. What excellent taste you have, you clever pup!

Ima Wizer said...


Laura in Paris said...

I love it!

liebesreime said...

hi H- I have been busy
Biographies are my favorite; can you tell us more about her? I will try to find the bio mentioned above...

California Girl said...

Poignant and so well said. Wish I were able to create such verse. I also read "Savage Beauty" a few yrs back and it's very interesting. She did not have a happy life but how many of the greats ever do. (Why is that?) Just back from Camden, ME. where she was born and raised. The beautiful Camden Public Library has a wonderful section dedicated to her with recordings of her reading some of her work.