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Beloved Dust -- Edna St Vincent Millay

Guest poem submitted by Angela
(Poem #1293) Beloved Dust
 And you as well must die, beloved dust,
 And all your beauty stand you in no stead,
 This flawless, vital hand, this perfect head,
 This body of flame and steel, before the gust
 Of Death, or under his autumnal frost,
 Shall be as any leaf, be no less dead
 Than the first leaf that fall, --- this wonder fled.
 Altered, estranged, disintegrated, lost.

 Nor shall my love avail you in your hour.
 In spite of all my love, you will arise
 Upon that day and wander down the air
 Obscurely as the unattended flower,
 It mattering not how beautiful you were,
 Or how beloved above all else that dies.
-- Edna St Vincent Millay
This poem is the first I had ever read by Millay. At the time I
discovered it I was 19 and caring for my terminally ill mother. When I
read this poem I felt "This is it. This is how I feel." Acceptance of
the inevitability of her death mingled with a feeling of helplessness in
preventing it from happening. The last 2 lines were to me its clencher:
        It mattering not how beautiful you were,
        Or how beloved above all else that dies.


[Millay on the Minstrels]

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
Poem #905, I will put Chaos into fourteen lines
Poem #926, Dirge Without Music
Poem #956, Ashes of Life
Poem #1064, Travel

10 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

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Anonymous said...

what is the tone of it tho

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