Sunday, 26 January 2014

Edna St Vincent Millay

I was browsing through my 'Poems On The Underground' book the other day and came across this lovely poem by Edna St Vincent Millay:

What Lips Have My Lips 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.

I've not really come across Edna before and knew nothing about her until I googled her and she certainly sounds like someone I should know more about (look at her wiki entry). One of her poems that I am familiar with but didn't realise was by her is 'First Fig':

My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends -
It gives a lovely light.

Does summer sing in you?

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