Monday, February 22, 2016

Happy Birthday to Edna St. Vincent Millay born February 22, 1892

My first poetic love was Edna St. Vincent Millay.  I met her when stationed at a small Army post in Germany; I lay on my cot and smoked and read her hour after hour.  I even learned to punctuate properly by studying her lyrics and sonnets.  I was faithful to her for a couple decades.  Then came a mid-life crisis (it must have been) and I fell in with a much younger woman, Sylvia Plath.  Now, being just about as mature as I'm going to get, I return over and over and over to Edna.  I'm so sorry that I -- swayed perhaps by the drama of suicide -- two-timed her.


                                                  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.

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