I Never Again Shall Tell You What I Think

Edna St. Vincent Millay, England 1921

“What should I be, but just what I am?”

Edna St. Vincent Millay

High Tide

By George Slocumbe

We are young no longer, we have passed the springing
Season, and all the wild brilliance of the year.
We are young no longer, and the blood runs singing.
Less stridently in heart and throat and ear.

Springtime is past. but all the months of summer
Promise the heat and languor of the sun.
The drums of desire are muffled, the drummer
Replete, resplendent, dreams his course is run.

Not yet the ebbing tide, if not the flowing,
The sea beats high and loud upon the shore.
Deepest in hue the day before the going
Down of the sun, then dusk and day no more!

I have purposely not delved much into Millay’s political activities, from her long time association with Floyd Dell, to her demonstrating against the death penalty during the Sacco and Vanzetti trial, to her play Aria da Capo, to her myriad of friends and acquaintances who were at the forefront of radical leftist politics prior to World War II. It’s not that much of that aspect of her life isn’t interesting, it’s that I have focused on her poetry, not the complexity of her entire life.   I have chosen to let her words, for the most part, speak for themselves.

Given that we are on the home stretch of Millay Month, I’ll keep things simple and close the last two posts, giving her the stage.  Here are several recordings of Millay reading her poems.  I have posted Love is Not all in an earlier Fourteenlines blog.

From the Harp-Weaver

Oh, oh, you will be sorry for that word!
Give back my book and take my kiss instead.
Was it my enemy or my friend I heard,
“What a big book for such a little head!”
Come, I will show you now my newest hat,
And you may watch me purse my mouth and prink!
Oh, I shall love you still, and all of that.
I never again shall tell you what I think.
I shall be sweet and crafty, soft and sly;
You will not catch me reading any more:
I shall be called a wife to pattern by;
And some day when you knock and push the door,
Some sane day, not too bright and not too stormy,
I shall be gone, and you may whistle for me.

Edna St. Vincent Millay

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A Sonnet Obsession

I am a life-long Minnesotan who resides in Minneapolis. I hope you enjoy my curated selection of sonnets, short poems and nerdy ruminations. I am pleased to offer Fourteenlines as an ad and cookie free poetry resource, to allow the poetry to be presented on its own without distractions. Fourteenlines is a testament to the power of the written word, for anyone wanting a little more poetry in their life.

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