I cannot but remember When the year grows old —October — November — How she disliked the cold! But for a poem to be a Thursday Love Poem it will have to look at that tenderness squinting sideways, maybe standing on its head, in order to give us a unique view, one other than what the masses have come to expect of a love poem. Love is not all: it is not meat nor drink Nor slumber nor a roof against the rain; Nor yet a floating spar to men that sink And rise and sink and rise and sink again; Love can not fill the thickened lung with breath, Nor clean the blood, nor set the fractured bone; Yet many a man is making friends with death Even as I speak, for lack of love alone. I loved you Wednesday,—yes—but what Is that to me? Vincent Millay 1892-1950 shares the fact of life that everyone must die. She remembers the decisions she used to make and the resolution, or determination, that they had. Wherefore I say: O love, as summer goes, I must be gone, steal forth with silent drums, That you may hail anew the bird and rose When I come back to you, as summer comes. And I am not resigned. And bring to those who knew great poetry wellPage after page that they have loved but have not learned by heart! Otherwise I haven't found that many poems here that I come back to, but I have the same attitude towards books of poetry that I have towards cook books, if just one poem or recipe in a book becomes yours then the book has earned its price of admission.
This famous portrait of Vincent as she was called by friends was taken by Carl Van Vechten in 1933. The transition from one speaker to another, a change in opinion, or in this case, a change in perspective. And this thou didst deny, calling my nameInsistently, until I rose and came. There, she continued to write poetry and became involved in the theater. That was in the early fall.
But beneath such constricting labels lies the simple truth that her extraordinary poetic potency sprang from her boundless capacity for love and beauty — a capacity so boundless that she fell in love frequently and intensely, with both men and women, often with multiple people at the same time. Fearing to pass unvisited some placeAnd later learn, too late, how all the while,With her still face,She had been standing there and seen me pass, without a smile,I sought her even to the sagging board whereatThe stout immortals sat;But such a laughter shook the mighty hallNo one could hear me say:Had she been seen upon the Hill that day? Today, Millay might be described as openly bisexual and polyamorous. A wind with a wolf's headHowled about our door,And we burned up the chairsAnd sat upon the floor. I saw and heard and knew at last The How and Why of all things, past, And present, and forevermore. Not only is Millay able to seamlessly incorporate both assonance and consonance within her work to deliver a message lined with poetic verse, but she is also able to seamlessly deliver a convincing argument that love is all-important. Such sweetness, to be loved like that.
A fragment of what you felt, of what you knew, A formula, a phrase remains,—but the best is lost. I had heard of her before but never read anything by her. And often when the brown leaves Were brittle on the ground,And the wind in the chimney Made a melancholy sound,She had a look about her That I wish I could forget—The look of a scared thing Sitting in a net! 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. For rain it hath a friendly soundTo one who's six feet underground;And scarce the friendly voice or face:A grave is such a quiet place. And yet a simple choice; you did not knowYou would not write again.
Bid us remember all we ever had Of sweet and gay delight—We who are free,But cannot quite be glad,Thinking of huge, abrupt disaster broughtUpon so many of our kindWho treasure as do we the vivid look on the unfrightened face,The careless happy stride from place to place,And the unbounded regions of untrammelled thoughtOpen as interstellar spaceTo the exploring and excited mind. Search in the poems of Edna St. Soar, eat ether, see what has never been seen depart, be lost, but climb. More precious was the light in your eyes than all the roses in the world. I, that had been to you, had you remained, But one more waking from a recurrent dream, Cherish no less the certain stakes I gained, And walk your memory's halls, austere, supreme, A ghost in marble of a girl you knew Who would have loved you in a day or two. The poem was first published in Collected Poems, in 1931 an remains one of most popular works.
Millay, who was openly bisexual, refused, despite Dell's attempts to persuade her otherwise. Should I outlive this anguish, and men do, I shall have only good to say of you. Before the wild wind's whistling lashThe startled storm-clouds reared on highAnd plunged in terror down the sky,And the big rain in one black waveFell from the sky and struck my grave. That was in the late fall. And so I loocked, and after all, The sky was not so very tall. United States: Pearson and Longman,2007. There were a few pieces in the collection that I didn't care for, such as the Aria Da Capo, but I liked the rest of them enough to buy the book so that I can re-read it.
And where you'll get a jacket fromGod above knows. What is the need of HeavenWhen earth can be so sweet? If you aren't familiar with metrical poetry, I would recommend trying this collection as a gentle introduction. I read it through and savored every poem. And we of all people should be able to do the mad thing well. The rain, I said, is kind to come And speak to me in my new home. And if ye sleep, then waken! It astounds me that someone could take words and arrange them in such a way that they cut and cry. The world stands out on either sideNo wider than the heart is wide;Above the world is stretched the sky,—No higher than the soul is high.
Over the course of their 26-year open marriage, both Millay and Boissevain had frequent relationships with other people but maintained a deep love for one another until death did them part. Selected Bibliography Poetry Collected Poems 1956 Mine the Harvest 1954 Collected Poems 1949 Poem and Prayer for an Invading Army 1944 Collected Lyrics 1943 Collected Sonnets 1941 Invocation of the Muses 1941 Make Bright the Arrows 1940 There Are No Islands Any More 1940 Huntsman, What Quarry? I had heard of her before but never read anything by her. Sleeping your myriad magics through, Close-sepulchred away from you! Here is how it went. I know not how such things can be;I only know there came to meA fragrance such as never clingsTo aught save happy living things;A sound as of some joyous elfSinging sweet songs to please himself,And, through and over everything,A sense of glad awakening. It's an excellent and thought-provoking novel I hope my niece does read sometime. And why you come complaining Is more than I can see. So I have decided to add a new feature, the Thursday Love Poem.
There were a few pieces in the collection that I didn't care for, such as the Aria Da Capo, but I liked the rest of them enough to buy the book so that I can re-read it. She loves me all that she can, And her ways to my ways resign; But she was not made for any man, And she never will be all mine. But maybe that's because most of the selected poems are so dark. I should have said study the multiplicity of metaphor in Never May The Fruit Be Plucked. Recall—oh, in the dark, restore themThe unremembered lines; make bright the page before them! And while the eyes of the past condemn, The eyes of the present narrow into assignation.