Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Some days it feels as though there are too many dead people in my life. Today was one of those days.


Dirge Without Music

I am not resigned to the shutting away of loving hearts in the hard ground.

So it is, and so it will be, for so it has been, time out of mind:

Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely. Crowned

With lilies and with laurel they go; but I am not resigned.

Lovers and thinkers, into the earth with you.

Be one with the dull, the indiscriminate dust.

A fragment of what you felt, of what you knew,

A formula, a phrase remains, - but the best is lost.


The answers quick and keen, the honest look, the laughter, the love,

They are gone. They have gone to feed the roses. Elegant and curled

Is the blossom. Fragrant is the blossom. I know. But I do not approve.

More precious was the light in your eyes than all the roses in the world.

Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave

Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind;

Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave.

I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned.

Edna St. Vincent Millay


  1. A lovely poem, Sue. Thanks for posting it.

  2. Touching a chord with me too especially this year. May these words from down the years bring some comfort. Wise and beautiful.

  3. this poet is a great favourite of mine but much as I enjoy and envy the turn of phrase, the images in this poem; I do not agree with the sentiments! Surely the best of our loved ones is still here, always here ...clarified, distilled ...sometimes so clear and present one can touch it. Of course one aches for the physical presence, weep for it , want to be able to pick up the phone and call or go down the road and knock on the door but when you you allow yourself you can know that the love and joy and friendship do not just dissipate, do not go down into the grave but is simply here

  4. Yes, Marmee, the love remains; and the words and other things... But I yearn to be able to converse with my dead loved ones and to hear what they have to say.