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 responsibilities 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.
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.