I once told a friend, who was deeply into Edna St. Vincent Millay, that I didn't "get" Millay. And my friend laughed in disbelief. What's not to get? What's not to love about Millay? Like so many things, one assumes after a quick read, or a quick listen, as to what one's opinion is. And I gave Millay another chance.
Millay does love, spring and death truly well. And she intertwines the three in wonderful ways. Millay is not too dramatic, slightly cynical, but deeply feeling about all three subjects. This month is poetry month. This month is Spring. And so, a poem.
To what purpose, April, do you return again?
Beauty is not enough.
You can no longer quiet me with the redness
Of little leaves opening stickily.
I know what I know.
The sun is hot upon my neck as I observe
The spikes of the crocus.
The smell of the earth is good.
It is apparent that there is no death.
But what does that signify?
Not only under ground are the brains of men
Eaten by maggots.
Life in itself
An empty cup, a flight of uncarpeted stairs.
It is not enough that yearly, down this hill,
Comes like and idiot, babbling and strewing flowers.