Monday, September 17, 2007

Poem for this week, from Edna

Did you try the Donne poem? I found it hard--not because of the language, but because I was intimidated by the length and so I kind of put it off.

Yet, it's always fun to be able to say, "Saucy, pedantic wench." How often do you get to do that?

As promised, here is a poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay. I first became acquainted with this poem through the Rising Tides anthology, when I fell in love with the line "Your laughter pelts my skin with small delicious blows."

(Note: The lines in this poem are sometimes very long, and the blogger UI is not so great at line breaks and indentation, so please excuse whatever weirdness.)


Not for these lovely blooms that prank your chambers did I come. Indeed,

I could have loved you better in the dark;
That is to say, in rooms less bright with roses, rooms more casual, less aware
Of History in the wings about to enter with benevolent air
On ponderous tiptoe, at the cue, "Proceed."
Not that I like the ash-trays over-crowded and the place in a mess,
Or the monastic cubicle too unctuously austere and stark,
But partly that these formal garlands for our Eighth Street Aphrodite are a bit too Greek,
And partly that to make the poor walls rich with our unaided loveliness
Would have been more chic.
Yet here I am, having told you of my quarrel with the taxi-driver over a line of Milton, and you laugh; and you are you, none other.
Your laughter pelts my skin with small delicious blows.
But I am perverse: I wish you had not scrubbed—with pumice, I suppose—
The tobacco stains from your beautiful fingers. And I wish I did not feel like your mother.

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