A Poem for a Gloomy Day

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April 10, 2013 by Ray Yanek

The last blog I wrote (before Spring Break, before the stacks of research essays to grade, before the softball and soccer practices, spring cleaning, yard work, and other npm2013_logoresponsibilities in general) I mentioned my love of words.  I’ve been thinking a lot about that love over the past week and a half, maybe because I haven’t been writing as much as I should.

When I don’t write anything for a couple of days, I start to feel a void.  I start to get a little wistful, and if I abstain from writing for to long the world just doesn’t seem right, my head doesn’t feel right.

npm2013_poster_540I remembered only this morning for example, 10 days in, that April is National Poetry Month.

I don’t read enough poetry, which seems odd given my fondness for all the magical things one can do with words.

So I thought today, as a way to honor National Poetry Month, and as a way to put at least some words on paper, I would share a poem that I enjoy, that showcases the power of words.

It seems also, a poem fitting for a rainy morning like the one outside my window right now.

 

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 quite 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.

–Taken from The Academy of American Poets.  Originally published Collected Poems by Edna St. Vincent Millay, published by Harper & Brothers Publishers. Copyright © 1956 by Norma Millay Ellis.

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