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I will put Chaos into fourteen lines -- Edna St Vincent Millay

Guest poem submitted by Vivian Eden:
(Poem #905) I will put Chaos into fourteen lines
 I will put Chaos into fourteen lines
 And keep him there; and let him thence escape
 If he be lucky; let him twist, and ape
 Flood, fire, and demon --- his adroit designs
 Will strain to nothing in the strict confines
 Of this sweet order, where, in pious rape,
 I hold his essence and amorphous shape,
 Till he with Order mingles and combines.
 Past are the hours, the years of our duress,
 His arrogance, our awful servitude:
 I have him. He is nothing more nor less
 Than something simple not yet understood;
 I shall not even force him to confess;
 Or answer. I will only make him good.
-- Edna St Vincent Millay
Recently you put out a call for named verse forms. This sonnet has it all -
a poem about poetry, about closed forms, about chaos and order of course,
about Eros, about women and men in general ("I will only make him good"),
about the poet's power and control, about self-knowledge, about art,
mysticism ("something simple not yet understood"), religion and what goes
into the willing acceptance of any restrictions in art and life. It is also
perfectly crafted and self-ironic. In short, a tour de force.


[Minstrels Links]

Edto St. Vincent Millay:
Poem #34, First Fig
Poem #49, The Unexplorer
Poem #108, The Penitent
Poem #317, Inland
Poem #590, Sonnet XLIII
Poem #604, Euclid Alone Has Looked On Beauty Bare
Poem #817, Grown-up
Poem #860, Sonnet: Love Is Not All

27 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

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i return to this poem over and over again and it is ever so true!

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