, , ,

These might just be sad poems for awhile, poemfriends. I hate the phrase “it is what it is”, but my brain is too tired to come up with another phrase. Searching around in my brainspace for some words, I remembered my favorite poem about grief, and I’d like to share it with you.

Dirge Without Music


I am not resigned to the shutting away of loving hearts in the hard ground.
So it is, and so it will be, for so it has been, time out of mind:
Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely.  Crowned
With lilies and with laurel they go; but I am not resigned.
Lovers and thinkers, into the earth with you.
Be one with the dull, the indiscriminate dust.
A fragment of what you felt, of what you knew,
A formula, a phrase remains,—but the best is lost.
The answers quick and keen, the honest look, the laughter, the love,—
They are gone.  They are gone to feed the roses.  Elegant and curled
Is the blossom.  Fragrant is the blossom.  I know.  But I do not approve.
More precious was the light in your eyes than all the roses in the world.
Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave
Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind;
Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave.
I know.  But I do not approve.  And I am not resigned.

Edna  St. Vincent Millay, “Dirge Without Music” from Collected Poems © 1928, 1955 by Edna St. Vincent Millay and Norma Millay Ellis. Reprinted with permission of Elizabeth Barnett and Holly Peppe, Literary Executors, The Millay Society.

Source: Collected Poems (HarperCollins, 1958)

This is just exactly how I feel. It’s a wicked Wednesday, indeed, and the impulse to do not do this, to blame a fictional broken computer, or something, is strong. But I cannot not do this now. Now, given how much love I’ve received from you all, I must finish out the year, chance and fate willing, I  must finish it out with strength. That doesn’t mean I’ll be happy with everything I write from here on out. I would be a super-narcissist if that were the case. It just means I have to do it, and soon, because I am stretched thin tonight.
I am not resigned
Nor shall I ever be. I am not resigned to any of this, I object, and I am running for God.
Vote me for God, and I will be making some changes. I’ll print signs and you can put them in your yard.
Vote me for God, and I will replace this sorrow with the holy bubbles of laughter and you can put down the fraud,
that bears us up, the tears canned, bottled, jarred and put on the shelf for safe-keeping.
I am not resigned, and I do not approve. I object, in this court of fate and chance,
to the loss of this ruling.
Forgetful during the fast passing of the day, this absent of mind is small pants,
going on with the goings on of care, tiny respite in troughs of unseeing.
Down, down we go, paying heavily for those little minutes of calm with great guilt.
Never have I been so grateful for unconsciousness, never have I been so thankful,
for the moments of life without thought, and when the knowledge comes spilt
like something sloshed on the floor while dancing, never have I been resigned to such balm before.
I am not resigned, nor shall I ever be.
UGH. why can’t I be Edna? I screwed this up by trying to include slight rhymes, and I hate rhymes, and I know that already. Such a tired, strung out brain. Thank you for reading any, my friends. I love you. I can’t stop saying that to everyone I know. Wednesday, y’all.