Sunday, February 12, 2017

Valentine's Love Poems: Edna St. Vincent Millay

from wikipedia
Pulitzer Prize-winning Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950) was an early feminist, a free spirit who was fortunate to gain recognition and renown for her poetry during her lifetime. Over her lifetime she had many romantic relationships, and this poem seems to be a meloncholy look back at memories of those past loves. And yet this was written when Millay was fairly young--it was one of the poems that led to her winning the Pulitzer Prize in 1922, when she was only 30 years old. Perhaps it was an elegy to singlehood, since she was married for the first time in 1923, and remained married to the same spouse (although she and her husband both had other liaisons during their marriage) until her husband's death in 1949. My thanks to my friend Dave for bringing this poem to my attention

What Lips My Lips Have Kissed, And Where, And Why (Sonnet XLIII)

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 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.

Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.

1 comment:

Mac n' Janet said...

Sad, surely for a lost love.

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