Evening Poetry, August 1

“She had forgotten how the August night”

by Edna St. Vincent Millay

She had forgotten how the August night
Was level as a lake beneath the moon,
In which she swam a little, losing sight
Of shore; and how the boy, who was at noon
Simple enough, not different from the rest,
Wore now a pleasant mystery as he went,
Which seemed to her an honest enough test
Whether she loved him, and she was content.
So loud, so loud the million crickets’ choir. . .
So sweet the night, so long-drawn-out and late. . .
And if the man were not her spirit’s mate,
Why was her body sluggish with desire?
Stark on the open field the moonlight fell,
But the oak tree’s shadow was deep and black and
     secret as a well.

You can find this poem in Collected Poems by Edna St. Vincent Millay.

Evening Poetry, July 11

Grown-Up

by Edna St. Vincent Millay

Was it for this that I uttered prayers,

And sobbed and cursed and kicked the stairs,

That now, domestic as a plate,

I should retire at half-past eight?

You can find this poem in Collected Poems.

Evening Poetry, June 3

Afternoon on a Hill

by Edna St. Vincent Millay

I will be the gladdest thing

Under the sun!

I will touch a hundred flowers

And not pick one.

I will look at cliff and clouds

With quiet eyes.

Watch the wind bow down the grass,

And the grass rise.

And when lights begin to show

Up from the town,

I will mark which must be mine,

And then start down.

You can find this poem and more in Collected Poems by Edna St. Vincent Millay.

Evening Poetry, May 20

First Fig

by Edna St. Vincent Millay

My candle burns at both ends;

It will not last the night;

But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends–

It gives a lovely light!

You can find this poem in The Penguin Anthology of 20th Century American Poetry.