A Girl Called Vincent by Krystyna Poray Goddu

The Life of Poet Edna St. Vincent Millay


Friends Seminary, New York City

This was an outstanding presentation that made Edna St. Vincent Millay come alive in a vivid and engaging way for our middle school students. They came away with a feeling of connection to the poetry, the poet's life, and the biographer's journey. Enthusiastically recommended.--Constance Vidor, Director of Library Services, Friends Seminary, New York City


Hunter College Elementary School, New York City

The students gave Krystyna rave reviews, including one boy who said it was the best author visit we ever had! Teachers were also very pleased with the content as it was perfectly timed for the fifth grade to begin their research projects.--Barbara Shostal, Librarian, Hunter College Elementary School, New York, New York

The Hewitt School, New York City

Grade 7 thoroughly enjoyed Krystyna’s visit to The Hewitt School. Her new bio is an excellent launch-point for my History 7 classes’ exploration of the early 1900s. Indeed, I plan to make it a companion resources for September 2016. What a great way to understand women of the pre-War Era and interwar period. Edna St. Vincent Millay had a wonderfully creative life-- Krystyna captured it and told it so well.--Joseph Iannacone, History Teacher & Grade 7 Lead Advisor, The Hewitt School, New York, New York

Krystyna gave our 7th graders a thorough, engaging presentation on her book A Girl Called Vincent. They learned so much about not only Edna St. Vincent Millay and her poetry, but also about the research and writing process behind the book. Krystyna's love of the subject comes through clearly in her enthusiasm and deep knowledge of the poet and her work. It was a great learning experience for students and teachers alike!—Lea Marmora, Middle School English Teacher & Coordinator of Middle School Life, The Hewitt School, New York, New York

The Cathedral School of St. John the Divine, New York City

A great presentation--last period Friday afternoon can be a bear, but Krystyna had every student riveted. The combination of beautiful visual images, compelling storytelling, and a brilliant leaning toward a younger audience without a hint of condescension held the students' rapt attention. Her intellectual and personal passion for Vincent, however is what we will all remember.—Edith Thurber, Upper School English Teacher, The Cathedral School of St. John the Divine, New York, New York

Krystyna’s presentation on poet Edna St. Vincent Millay is lively, informative and interesting. She shares information from her starred-review biography A Girl Called Vincent with passion and enthusiasm. Students are engaged and curious about the life and work of this pioneer poet--"the Lady Gaga of her day" according to Krystyna. Students and faculty were so excited and inspired to learn more about this esteemed poet.—Sharon Owens, School Librarian, The Cathedral School of St. John the Divine, New York, New York

I am so happy that my students had the opportunity to learn about a life dedicated to the written word, and may encounter in Millay’s poetry such dazzling, soul-opening lines as "God, I can push the grass apart, and lay my finger on Thy heart" and "Beauty is whatever gives joy.”—Jonathan Pirnia, Upper School Science Teacher & Student Council Advisor, The Cathedral School of St. John the Divine, New York, New York

Stuyvesant High School, New York City

Though her book is tailored towards a middle grade audience, Krystyna Poray Goddu perfectly calibrated her presentation towards my high school seniors, reading excerpts from Millay's own high school journals and presenting marvelous photographs that kept all of us engaged.--Dr. Emily Moore, English Teacher, Stuyvesant High School, New York, New York

For Educators

On this page you'll find information about my School Visits; a Brief Book Talk (which is easily further condensed); a Historical Timeline that portrays the key events of Vincent's life against the backdrop of world events; and four Lesson Plans--two for grades 5&6 and two for grades 7&8. I hope this page will inspire you to introduce Edna St. Vincent Millay to your students.

SCHOOL VISITS


I am an experienced speaker who loves talking about Edna St. Vincent Millay. I am available to visit your school or other venue to present a program about the poet, her life and work, and the process of writing A Girl Called Vincent. In my program I explore the unusual childhood and adolescence of this creative artist, and her “rock star” status during most of her adulthood. I also introduce students to her poetry, focusing on her unique melding of traditional forms with very modern sentiments and the major themes of her work. Finally I discuss my research process in writing this book, which involved working with primary and secondary sources. The program is appropriate for grades 5-8—though I understand that this age range encompasses a wide range of maturity levels, so I will adapt up or down depending on the specific audience. I am happy to work within a school’s budget as far as my fee is concerned. If significant travel is involved in coming to your school, I also request travel and lodging expenses.




BRIEF BOOK TALK


Once upon a time there was a tiny, red-haired, high-spirited girl who loved to write poems, plays and music, and to perform. Born in 1892, she was the oldest of three sisters raised by an independent single mother who believed that music and books were more important than chores. Fiercely bonded to each other, the family lived in cheerful poverty, turning household work into games and songs.

She grew up to be a tiny, red-haired, high-spirited woman, who became known as America’s greatest love poet. When she appeared on stage to recite her poetry, audiences went wild at the sight of the slight figure in the long flowing gown. Men and women sent her flowers and love notes. Can you imagine an audience going wild for a poet? That was how people reacted to Edna St. Vincent Millay, known to her family and friends as Vincent. She was a rock star of her times, touring the country to read in sold-out theatres.

A Girl Called Vincent traces the poet’s incredible journey from a unique and talented girl in Camden, Maine, to an international celebrity. In this book, filled with excerpts from diaries and letters, you’ll meet the passionate and playful, talented and teasing Vincent—and once you have, you, like everyone who encountered her, will never forget her!



HISTORICAL TIMELINE


Edna St. Vincent Millay’s lifetime, 1892-1950, encompassed many important historical events. This timeline places the events of her life in the context of some of the more significant moments in the history of her era.

• February 22, 1892: Edna St. Vincent Millay is born in Rockland, Maine
• 1904: Vincent’s mother Cora moves the family to Camden, Maine
• April 18, 1906: Earthquake in San Francisco destroys 75% of city
• October 1906: Vincent’s first poem is published in St. Nicholas magazine
• March 1907: Vincent’s poem “The Land of Romance” wins the St. Nicholas gold medal and garners critical attention from Edward Wheeler, editor of Current Literature
• April 17, 1907: Nearly 12,000 immigrants arrive on Ellis Island
• June 1909: Vincent graduates from high school
April 15, 1912 S.S. Titanic sinks
• May 1912: Vincent submits “Renascence” to The Lyric Year competition
• August 1912: Vincent recites “Renascence” at the Whitehall inn, striking the attention of Caroline Dow, who raises funds for her to attend Vassar College
• September 1913: Vincent matriculates at Vassar College
1914: World War I begins
• June 1917: Vincent graduates from Vassar College
• September 1917: Vincent moves to New York City
• December 1917: Vincent’s first book of verse, Renascence and Other Poems, is published
1918: Russian Czar Nicholas II is executed as Russian Revolution gathers momentum
1919: Prohibition is ratified in the United States
• Spring 1920: Vincent’s second book, A Few Figs from Thistles, is published, establishing her reputation as the “It-Girl” of Greenwich Village
1920: Women in the United States win the right to vote
• April 1923: Vincent wins the Pulitzer Prize for poetry
• July 18, 1923: Vincent marries Eugen Boissevain
April 1925: Hitler publishes Mein Kampf (My Struggle), his autobiography
July 1925: John Scopes is found guilty of teaching evolution in Tennessee
• 1925: Vincent and Eugen buy Steepletop in Austerlitz, New York
• February 27, 1927: The King’s Henchman premieres to great praise at the Metropolitan Opera House
May 20, 1927: Charles Lindbergh flies “The Spirit of St. Louis” from New York to Paris
• August 1927: Vincent marches in protest against Sacco & Vanzetti’s executions
August 1927: Sacco & Vanzetti are executed
1929: U.S. stock market collapses, signaling the start of the Great Depression
• April 1931: Fatal Interview is published, becoming Vincent’s first book to make the best-seller list
1933 Adolf Hitler is elected German Chancellor; Prohibition is repealed
• 1938: Vincent is elected one of the ten most famous women in America
1939: World War II begins
• 1940: Vincent is elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters
1941: Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor; U.S. declares war on Germany and Italy
• January 1943: Vincent receives Poetry Society of America’s Frost medal for distinguished lifetime achievement in poetry
May 1945: V-E Day (Victory in Europe) ends war in Europe; U.S. drops bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki
1948: the Jewish state of Israel comes into existence
• August 29, 1949: Eugen Boissevain dies at the age of 69
• October 19, 1950: Edna St. Vincent Millay dies at the age of 58



LESSON PLANS

Lesson Plan A for Grades 5&6: The Poetry of Vincent the Free Spirit


Approximate Time Frame: 25 minutes

Background Info: These two poems are from Millay’s second poetry collection, A Few Figs from Thistles, first published in 1920. The title refers to a biblical verse--“Are grapes gathered from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles?”—inferring, perhaps, that wisdom (figs) can be gathered from life, which, like thistles, is sometimes painful.

Objectives
• Gain knowledge of poet Edna St. Vincent Millay and of her early poems
• Gain knowledge of the concept of metaphor
• Practice analysis by examining the use of metaphor in two of Millay’s short poems
• Practice analysis by examining the rhyme schemes in Millay’s poems
• Practice writing a short poem

Materials
Hand-out or project on screen: “First Fig” and “Second Fig”

_____________________________________________________________________________________
FIRST FIG

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!

_____________________________________________________________________________________
SECOND FIG

Safe upon the solid rock the ugly houses stand:
Come and see my shining palace built upon the sand.

_____________________________________________________________________________________
Activities
1. Hand out or project “First Fig” and “Second Fig.”

2. Read “First Fig” aloud.

3. Discuss
• Have you heard the phrase “burning the candle at both ends” before?
• What happens to a candle that is burning at both ends?
• What is a metaphor? (a word or a phrase used as a symbol for something else)
• What is the candle a metaphor for?
• What is the speaker expressing in this poem?
• How does this poem help create the image of the speaker as a free spirit?

4. Analyze
• What is the rhyme scheme of this poem?
• What do you call a poem of four lines? (Quatrain: a group of four lines of verse)

5. Read “Second Fig” aloud.

6. Discuss
• What are the important words in the first line?
• What are the important words in the second line?
• What eventually happens to a “palace built upon the sand?”
• What are the houses and palace a metaphor for?
• What is the speaker expressing in this poem?
• How does this poem help create the image of the speaker as a free spirit?

7. Analyze
• What is the rhyme scheme of this poem?
• What do you call two lines that rhyme?

What impression do these poems give you of Edna St. Vincent Millay?

8. Introduce Edna St. Vincent Millay
She was born in Maine in 1892 and became very famous at the age of 20 when her 214-line poem entitled “Renascence” was published. She won a full scholarship to Vassar College and after she graduated she moved to Greenwich Village, which was filled with political and artistic activity. Her poems, like these two we’ve read, became wildly popular because they expressed the rebellious free-spirited atmosphere of Greenwich Village in the 1920s. She became the symbol of the free-spirited modern woman who did as she pleased. She expressed emotions and ideas from a modern woman’s point of view, but wrote in classic, old-fashioned forms. With each book of poems, she became even more popular. When she toured the country to read her poetry, she sold out theatres everywhere. She was like a rock-star celebrity in her times. In 1923 she became the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for poetry. She continued to write and publish poetry until she died in 1950.

9. Try writing a quatrain about something that you should do but don’t want to. See if you can do it in two rhyming couplets or in an ABAB rhyme scheme.

Lesson Plan B for Grades 5&6: The Poetry of Vincent the Rebel


Approximate Time Frame: 45 minutes

Objectives
• Gain knowledge of poet Edna St. Vincent Millay and one of her early poems
• Gain knowledge of the concept of “penitent”
• Practice analysis by examining the rhyme scheme in Millay’s poem
• Practice writing a poem

Materials
Hand-out or project on screen: “The Penitent”
_____________________________________________________________________________________
THE PENITENT

I had a little Sorrow,
Born of a little Sin,
I found a room all damp with gloom
And shut us all within.
And, “Little Sorrow, weep,” said I,
“And, Little Sin, pray God to die,
And I upon the floor will lie
And think how bad I’ve been!”

Alas for pious planning—
It mattered not a whit!
As far as gloom went in that room,
The lamp might have been lit!
My little Sorrow would not weep,

My little Sin would go to sleep—
To save my soul I could not keep
My graceless mind on it!

So up I got in anger,
And took a book I had,
And put a ribbon on my hair
To please a passing lad,
And, “One thing there’s no getting by—
I’ve been a wicked girl,” said I;
“But if I can’t be sorry, why,
I might as well be glad!”
_____________________________________________________________________________________
Activities
1. Read “The Penitent” aloud.

2. Discuss
• What does the word “penitent mean?” (someone who shows sorrow and regret for doing something wrong)
• Do you think the speaker of this poem wants to be a penitent?
• What is the speaker’s attitude?
• Which words or phrases in the poem show that attitude?
• How does this poem help create the image of the speaker as a rebel?

3. Analyze
• What is the rhyme scheme? (analyze with class)
• Besides the ends of some of the lines rhyming, what other rhymes can you find?

What impression does this poem give you of Edna St. Vincent Millay?

4. Introduce Edna St. Vincent Millay
She was born in Maine in 1892 and became very famous at the age of 20 when her 214-line poem entitled “Renascence” was published. She won a full scholarship to Vassar College and after she graduated she moved to Greenwich Village, which was filled with political and artistic activity. Her poems, like these two we’ve read, became wildly popular because they expressed the rebellious free-spirited atmosphere of Greenwich Village in the 1920s. She became the symbol of the free-spirited modern woman who did as she pleased. She expressed emotions and ideas from a modern woman’s point of view, but wrote in classic, old-fashioned forms. With each book of poems she became even more popular. When she toured the country to read her poetry, she sold out theatres everywhere. She was like a rock-star celebrity in her times. In 1923 she became the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for poetry. She continued to write and publish poetry until she died in 1950.

5. Try writing a poem about doing something you should be sorry for but are not.

Lesson Plan A for Grades 7&8: The Poetry of Vincent the Feminist


Approximate Time Frame: 45 minutes

Objectives
• Gain knowledge of poet Edna St. Vincent Millay and one of her sonnets
• Gain knowledge of the Shakespearean sonnet form
• Practice analysis by examining the point of view in the sonnet
• Practice analysis by examining the structure and rhyme scheme of the Shakespearean sonnet
• Practice writing a Shakespearean sonnet

Materials
Hand out or project on screen: Sonnet XLV
_____________________________________________________________________________________
Sonnet XLV

I know my mind and I have made my choice;
Not from your temper does my doom depend.
Love me or love me not, you have no voice
In this, which is my portion to the end.
Your presence and your favours, the full part
That you could give, you now can take away:
What lies between your beauty and my heart
Not even you can trouble or betray.
Mistake me not—unto my inmost core
I do desire your kiss upon my mouth;
They have not craved a cup of water more
That bleach upon the deserts of the south;
Here might you bless me; what you cannot do
Is bow me down, who have been loved by you.
_____________________________________________________________________________________
Activities
1. Introduce Edna St. Vincent Millay
She was born in Maine in 1892 and became very famous at the age of 20 when her 214-line poem entitled “Renascence” was published. She won a full scholarship to Vassar College and after she graduated she moved to Greenwich Village, which was filled with political and artistic activity. Her poems became wildly popular because they expressed the rebellious free-spirited atmosphere of Greenwich Village in the 1920s. She became the symbol of the free-spirited modern woman who did as she pleased, and is considered an early feminist. She expressed emotions and ideas from a modern woman’s point of view, but wrote in classic, old-fashioned forms, like sonnets. With each book of poems became even more popular. When she toured the country to read her poetry, she sold out theatres everywhere. She was like a rock-star celebrity in her times. In 1923 she became the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for poetry. She continued to write and publish poetry until she died in 1950.

2. Read Sonnet XLV aloud

3. Discuss
• How would you define feminism? (the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities)
• What words or phrases in the poem support the idea that the speaker is a feminist?
• Female poets throughout history have often written sonnets in the voice of a woman in love, but almost always they have presented themselves only in relationship to their lover. What does the speaker of this poem express? (personal independence, empowerment)
• Which specific words or phrases in the poem express those feelings?

4. Analyze Sonnet Form
• What are the characteristics of a sonnet?
• While all sonnets have 14 lines, there are several different structures a sonnet can have. This one has the structure known as a Shakespearean sonnet, because Shakespeare used it. (4 quatrains and closing couplet)
• Analyze rhyme scheme (ABAB CDCD EFEF GG)
• What happens in each of these three quatrains? Do the speaker’s thoughts shift or grow? Do each one build on the preceding one?
• Sonnets usually have a break, called a turn, where the poet changes from one thought to another. Where is the turn in this sonnet? The sonnet structure can also be seen as an octave (8 lines) and a sestet (6 lines). The turn in the poem is usually between those two sections.
• In Shakespearean sonnets, the closing couplet usually stands alone and offers either a stronger statement as to what the sonnet is expressing or a contradictory statement. What purpose does the closing couplet in this sonnet serve?

5. Write a sonnet about having the courage to do something alone.
Break students into four groups. OPTION A: Assign the first quatrain to one group, second to one group, third to one group and final couplet to one group. OPTION B: Assign each group to brainstorm about having the courage to do something alone, pick one idea and write a complete sonnet together.

6. Read the complete sonnet aloud
Have students read their sections in order; then collect the finished sections and read sonnet in its entirety aloud to the class.

OPTIONAL: Compare and Contrast Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Sonnet 43 from Sonnets from the Portuguese “How Do I Love Thee?” (find text at the end of Lesson Plan B for Grades 7&8) with Millay’s Sonnet XLV. Ignoring the structural differences, how is this speaker’s voice different?




Lesson Plan B for Grades 7&8: Important Female Artists of the 1920s


Approximate Time Frame: 45 minutes

The 1920s was an era of intense creativity and freedom in the arts. In this lesson we will take a quick look at three important female artists, all known for their independent spirits and their pioneering work, who characterized the changes in women’s expression during that decade. Let’s keep in mind, too, that 1920 is the year that women in American finally received the right to vote. While all three of these women were working before that watershed moment, their art thrived in the 1920s.

Objectives
• Gain knowledge of the life and work of Edna St. Vincent Millay, Georgia O’Keefe and Isadora Duncan
• Gain knowledge of how each of these women changed her art form
• Practice analysis by comparing and contrasting each artist’s work with earlier work in her art form
• Practice analysis by comparing and contrasting the three artists’ work

Materials
Hand out or project on screen: Sonnet 43 by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Sonnet XI by Edna St. Vincent Millay, (OPTIONAL) Sonnet XXX by Edna St. Vincent Millay (poems appear at the end of the lesson plan)

Video links provided in text

Activities
1. Introduce Edna St. Vincent Millay and her work.
In Brief
Edna St. Vincent Millay
Lived: 1892-1950
Art Form: Poetry
Best known for: Fusion of modern attitudes with classical poetic forms; love sonnets, the “It-Girl” of Greenwich Village

Biographical Info
Millay was born in Maine in 1892 and became very famous at the age of 20 when her 214-line poem entitled “Renascence” was published. She won a full scholarship to Vassar College and after she graduated she moved to Greenwich Village, which was filled with political and artistic activity. Her poems became wildly popular because they expressed the rebellious free-spirited atmosphere of Greenwich Village in the 1920s. She became the symbol of the free-spirited modern woman who did as she pleased. She expressed emotions and ideas from a modern woman’s point of view, but wrote in classic, old-fashioned forms, like sonnets. With each book of poems she became even more popular. When she toured the country to read her poetry, she sold out theatres everywhere. She was like a rock-star celebrity in her times. In 1923 she became the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for poetry. She continued to write and publish poetry until she died in 1950.

Traditionally, love sonnets written by women were just that: expressions of love towards
her beloved. They sounded like
this famous one written by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. (1:28 mins)

Here’s one of Millay’s love sonnets—a little different.(Vincent reading I Shall Forget You Presently, My Dear--57 secs)

EXTRA: Here’s another one of her sonnets about love.
(Vincent reading Love is Not All--1:12 mins)

2. Discuss
• How is Millay’s sonnet different from Browning’s?
• What specific different features do you see in Millay’s sonnet?
If students don’t have handouts, project both sonnets on screen to aid in discussion.

3. Introduce Georgia O'Keefe and her work.
In Brief
Georgia O’Keefe
Lived: 1887-1986
Art Form: Painting
Best known for: Fusion of abstraction and realism; paintings of magnified flowers; paintings of bones; New Mexico landscapes

Biographical Info
Second video is a good summary of O’Keefe’s bio, so use it to introduce her after viewing first short video of traditional flower paintings

Flowers have been popular subjects for painters for centuries.
Here’s a quick look at the kinds of paintings of flowers that most people in the early 20th century knew. (22 secs)

Imagine what a shock O’Keefe’s magnified flower paintings must have been.
Here’s a video about O’Keefe that shows a lot of her paintings of flowers. (3:37 mins)

EXTRA: Here’s O’Keefe talking about how she began painting bones (4:24 mins)

4. Discuss
• How are O’Keefe’s paintings of flowers different from the earlier paintings of flowers?
• What specific different features do you see in her paintings?
Show Oriental Poppies on screen to aid in discussion.

5.Introduce Isadora Duncan and her work.
In Brief
Choreographer/​dancer Isadora Duncan:
Lived: 1877-1927
Art Form: Dance
Best known for: Fusion of natural movements with classical Greek principles of beauty, motion and form; the mother of modern dance; the barefoot dancer

Biographical Info
Isadora Duncan was born in San Francisco in 1877. Credited with inventing what came to be known as Modern Dance, she was a self-styled revolutionary whose influence spread from America to Europe and Russia. She created a sensation everywhere she performed. Her style of dancing eschewed the rigidity of ballet; she championed the notion of free-spiritedness coupled with the high ideals of ancient Greece: beauty, philosophy and humanity. As a child, she studied ballet, but quit at the age of nine because she thought it was too artificial and mechanical. Instead she began developing her own signature style of dance. She eventually moved to Europe, where her performances were both sold-out and a critical success. She also opened a dance school and trained the young dancers who would become her performing company, “The Isadorables.” Shocking some audience members and inspiring others, Duncan was a champion in the struggle for women‘s rights. She died tragically at the age of 50 when her long scarf became entangled in the rear wheels of an open-air Bugatti sports car.

Before Isadora, dance performances meant ballet performances. People were used to seeing this kind of dancing. This is the celebrated Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova dancing The Dying Swan. (2:16 mins)

Imagine how surprised they were to see this, instead. This is a contemporary dancer performing a piece choreographed by Isadora Duncan: The Butterfly. (1:18 mins)

EXTRA: FOR MORE VARIETY OF DUNCAN PIECES SHOW THIS VIDEO (3:42 mins)
Here are excerpts from several Duncan pieces danced by the contemporary dance company, Lori Bellilove and The Isadora Duncan Dance Company.

6. Discuss
• How does Duncan’s dance differ from the ballet piece?
• What specific different features do you see in her technique?
Replay two short videos to aid in discussion.

7. Discuss
• Even though these art pieces are different media, can you find elements they have in common?

8. Write
• How are these women connected? Imagine that Edna St. Vincent Millay, Georgia O’Keefe and Isadora Duncan are having dinner together. Create a dialogue among them about art, poetry and dance. Be sure to have them discuss breaking from tradition within their art form, but also have them consider how they maintained tradition.

POETRY TEXTS

Sonnet 43 by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

Sonnet XI

I shall forget you presently, my dear,
So make the most of this, your little day,
Your little month, your little half a year,
Ere I forget, or die, or move away,
And we are done forever; by and by
I shall forget you, as I said, but now
If you entreat me with your loveliest lie
I will protest you with my favourite vow.
I would indeed that love were longer-lived,
And oaths were not so brittle as they are,
But so it is, and nature has contrived
To struggle on without a break thus far,--
Whether or not we find what we are seeking
Is idle, biologically speaking.

Sonnet XXX

Love is not all: it is not meat nor drink
Nor slumber nor a roof against the rain;
Not yet a floating spar to men that sink
And rise and sink and rise and sink again;
Love cannot fill the thickened lung with breath,
Nor clean the blood, nor set the fractured bone;
Yet many a man is making friends with death
Even as I speak, for lack of love alone.
It well may be that in a difficult hour,
Pinned down by pain and moaning for release,
Or nagged by want past resolution’s power,
I might be driven to sell your love for peace,
Or trade the memory of this night for food.
It well may be. I do not think I would.

Quick Links