Monday, January 03, 2005

Poet Envy

I envy poets their ability to make language sing. I'm just a clunky writer of prose. This morning, looking out on a grey, dreary Monday morning that signals a return to work, I went looking for a poem that would express that odd regret that comes over one in vulnerable moments. Not something I feel all the time, but that's the beauty of poetry. Later today, I may go looking for a joyful poem. But for now, I have this one, one of my favorites, by Edna St. Vincent Millay.

What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why (Sonnet XLIII)
Edna St. Vincent Millay

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.

 

From Collected Poems by Edna St. Vincent Millay, published by Harper & Brothers Publishers. Copyright © 1956 by Norma Millay Ellis.

4 comments:

Some Guy said...

Very nice. I love sonnets. Shakespeare's in particular.

Sheryl said...

For some reason that reminds me of the Enya song Marble Halls. Do you know that one? Hold on....

Marble Halls

I dreamt I dwelt in marble halls
With vassals and serfs at my side,
And of all who assembled within those walls
That I was the hope and the pride.
I had riches all too great to count
And a high ancestral name.
But I also dreamt which pleased me most
That you loved me still the same,
That you loved me
you loved me still the same,
That you loved me
You loved me still the same.

I dreamt that suitors sought my hand,
That knights upon bended knee
And with vows no maidens heart could withstand,
They pledged their faith to me.
And I dreamt that one of that noble host
Came forth my hand to claim.
But I also dreamt which charmed me most
That you loved me still the same
That you loved me
You loved me still the same,
That you loved me
You loved me still the same.

wbrant said...

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I have a shakespeare time line site. It pretty much covers shakespeare time line related stuff.

Come and check it out if you get time :-)

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