Core: noun, the most important part of a thing, the essence; from the Latin cor, meaning heart.

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The Weblog at The View from the Core - Sun. 11/07/04 07:58:01 AM

Three by Millay VI

Poems by Edna St. Vincent Millay.

The Oak-Leaves

Yet in the end, defeated too, worn out and ready to fall,
Hangs from the drowsy tree with cramped and desperate stem above the ditch the last leaf of all.

There is something to be learned, I guess, from looking at the dead leaves under the living tree;
Something to be set to a lusty tune and learned and sung, it well might be;
Something to be learned—though I was ever a ten-o'clock scholar at this school—
Even perhaps by me.

But my heart goes out to the oak-leaves that are the last to sigh
"Enough," and lose their hold;
They have boasted to the nudging frost and to the two-and-thirty winds that they would never die,
Never even grow old.
(These are those russet leaves that cling
All winter, even into the spring,
To the dormant bough, in the wood knee-deep in the snow the only coloured thing.)

(from Wine from These Grapes)

The Spring and the Fall

In the spring of the year, in the spring of the year,
I walked the road beside my dear.
The trees were black where the bark was wet.
I see them yet, in the spring of the year.
He broke me a bough of the blossoming peach
That was out of the way and hard to reach.

In the fall of the year, in the fall of the year,
I walked the road beside my dear.
The rooks went up with a raucous trill.
I hear them still, in the fall of the year.
He laughed at all I dared to praise,
And broke my heart, in little ways.

Year be springing or year be falling,
The bark will drip and the birds be calling.
There's much that's fine to see and hear
In the spring of a year, in the fall of a year.
'Tis not love's going hurt my days,
But that it went in little ways.

(from The Harp-Weaver and Other Poems)

The Death of Autumn

When reeds are dead and a straw to thatch the marshes,
And feathered pampas-grass rides into the wind
Like agèd warriors westward, tragic, thinned
Of half their tribe, and over the flattened rushes,
Stripped of its secret, open, stark and bleak,
Blackens afar the half-forgotten creek,—
Then leans on me the weight of the year, and crushes
My heart. I know that Beauty must ail and die,
And will be born again,—but ah, to see
Beauty stiffened, staring up at the sky!
Oh, Autumn! Autumn!—What is the Spring to me?

(from Second April)

Collected Poems (1956), ed. Norma Millay, pp. 275, 168, 107.

See also Three by Millay V: Poems by Edna St. Vincent Millay.

Lane Core Jr. CIW P — Sun. 11/07/04 07:58:01 AM
Categorized as Literary & Sunday Poetry Series.


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Cor ad cor loquitur J. H. Newman — “Heart speaks to heart”