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Poetry: Edna St. Vincent Millay

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Poetry | Posted on 12-02-2008


I wanted to do something different for today's Thing-a-Day, and I signed up to be part of Live Readings a while back but hadn't recorded anything yet, so I'm posting this is both (all three?) places.

"What Lips My Lips Have Kissed, and Where, and Why (Sonnet XLIII)"
by 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

Music is "Celebration" by Mark Heimonen from the Podsafe Music Network

Comments (5)

I once read a great deal of Millay’s work but like too many things I haven’t done so recent­ly. Thanks for remind­ing me what I have been miss­ing. I’m going to go read now…

I hon­est­ly hadn’t read much of her work, but that poem was one of the pieces that the Acad­e­my of Amer­i­can Poets linked to in a newslet­ter I received today. I cer­tain­ly intend to find more!

i have not read your work but because of that poem i think i will start.This poem is being used in my project.OXOXOX.{it means hugs and kisses}

I’m glad you liked it! What kind of project?

Deep feel­ing has always live much more longer than author could imag­ine. Even if the time is gone the echo of the emo­tion­al expe­ri­ence can help us to paint each episode of our mem­o­ry, espe­cial­ly when we met the song or the poet­ry which accor­dant to our impression. 

Per­haps, that is rea­son because we are in need of art.