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."
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.
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.