Wednesday, March 10, 2010

My Love Affair With Edna St. Vincent Millay

Sometimes the day is icky and rainy and I have a headache and I haven't had a good night's sleep in I don't know how long and I'm FINE ... everything is fine. But I miss being GREAT and sunny and happy and ... whimsical, you know? Sometimes I miss my damn whimsy! And then I come across a poem like this that takes my breath away...

Well, I have lost you; and I lost you fairly;
In my own way, and with my full consent.
Say what you will, kings in a tumbrel rarely
Went to their deaths more proud than this one went.
Some nights of apprehension and hot weeping
I will confess; but that's permitted me;
Day dried my eyes; I was not one for keeping
Rubbed in a cage a wing that would be free.
If I had loved you less or played you slyly
I might have held you for a summer more,
But at the cost of words I value highly,
And no such summer as the one before.
Should I outlive this anguish-and men do-
I shall have only good to say of you.

and I feel like I'm 14 again, sitting in my childhood bedroom with the smell of lilacs floating in through the window, just realizing sort of for the first time how absolutely huge and beautiful and raw and wild the world is, just awed by the scope and breadth of things.

I don't know. I'm in that kind of a mood ... it's a beautiful, fucked up kind of world we live in, dear readers. Go out and get dirty.


PS The poem is by Edna St. Vincent Millay. I'm reading Savage Beauty by Nancy Milford and loving every minute of it. If I wasn't so delighted to be smack dab in the middle of discovering Millay as we speak, I would be kicking myself for not reading more of her work before this. She, and her work, are lovely.

1 comment:

gsonge said...

YOU are lovely.