Monday, July 2, 2007

POETRY FEST - JULY

EDNA ST. VINCENT MILLAY PREFERRED TO BE CALLED VINCENT

Many, many things saddened me about Daisy's death, just one being that she will not be conducting the July and August portions of her Summer Poetry Fest. I am going to continue on in my small way by posting a couple of my favorite poems I loved as a teenager, because that was Daisy's theme for July.

I discovered Edna St. Vincent Millay in my late teens, when I was ready for more sophisticated verse, poetry that was more bittersweet. I consider Millay to be the best American woman poet. I treasure the two volumes of her verse which I own: "Collected Sonnets" and "Collected Lyrics." I have printed my two favorite sonnets below. But before you read them, did you know that Millay is the author of these famous lines?:

"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."
****

Sonnet XXIX
Pity me not because the light of day
At close of day no longer walks the sky;
Pity me not for beauties passed away
From field and thicket as the year goes by;
Pity me not the waning of the moon,
Nor that the ebbing tide goes out to sea,
Nor that a man's desire is hushed so soon,
And you no longer look with love on me.
This I have known always: Love is no more
Than the wide blossom which the wind assails,
Than the great tide that treads the shifting shore,
Strewing fresh wreckage gathered in the gales:
Pity me that the heart is slow to learn
What the swift mind beholds at every turn.
**********
Sonnet XLII
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 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.

3 comments:

lila said...

A wonderful post!
I'm sure Daisy would have loved these poems. I notice the part about the waning moon...which is what we are having now. Vincent is truly fabulous! Thanks for sharing!

PEA said...

Daisy would have loved these indeed...I was thinking of her poetry fest and felt sad to know it wouldn't be happening. How wonderful that you decided to still post some of your favourites in her memory:-) xox

Carmen said...

I love poetry! And I guess now I have homework for these couple of days, I will post mine, too. Thank you!