52 Poems: Week 4 Edna St. Vincent Millay

I read Savage Beauty, Nancy Milford's biography of Edna St. Vincent Millay, during grad school and although it wasn't one of my favorite books her life story has stayed with me. So to prepare for PEN Emerging Voices poet Kima Jones' lessons on sonnets I read this one. I think Milllay's sad regret will appeal perfectly to my middle schoolers.

What My Lips Have Kissed, And Where And Why
Edna St. Vincent Millay

Photo by Tom Haxby.
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 in 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 a lonely tree,
Nor knows what birds have vanished one by one,
Yet know 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.

No comments:

Post a Comment