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The Unexplorer -- Edna St Vincent Millay

Due to severe time constraints this will be the last poem I send for a month
or possibly more :( Thomas will either double his output or skip alternate
days, depending. Guest poems can be sent to him. Anyway, for a swan song of
sorts...
(Poem #49) The Unexplorer
There was a road ran past our house
Too lovely to explore.
I asked my mother once -- she said
That if you followed where it led
It brought you to the milk-man's door.
(That's why I have not travelled more.)
-- Edna St Vincent Millay
Millay's lighter poetry is perhaps not as well known as her more serious
stuff, or her love poems, but it is IMHO just as good, and certainly as
delightful. This particular one captured the essence of growing up
perfectly, and so simply that I hesitate to say anything about it. It is
also, for some reason, evocative in an intertextual sort of way - I was
reminded of bits of Calvin and Hobbes, Milne, Tolkien and a few others,
though I can't really say why.

And to repeat myself, the following site contains an extensive collection of
Millay's poetry, with a very well-chosen picture before each one:
<[broken link] http://www.geocities.com/Paris/LeftBank/6865/esvm.html>

Au revoir,

m.

29 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

anonymous said...

At the risk of seeming like I have a mind in the gutter:
The first thing I thought of was the cliched "affair with the milkman"
(or is it postman?), which the mother in the poem is alluding to.
Thus the poem might be read also as an adolescent retreating from or
fearing her new sexuality.
Ironically, I agree wholeheartedly with the following comments:

>There is nothing more mundane than a milkman's home is probably
>implied. Besides if it was some kind of idea(l) by the young Edna,
>she did not have to pursue it as it would soon come to her in time
>be it an experience or a knowledge. Milkman delivers the milk to
>her very door in time.
>
>To sum, youth can have their head in the clouds but they are often
>mercilessly brought down by interaction with adult values.

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