Edna St. Vincent Millay: Thank You XXIX

by doodaddy on November 29, 2007

I pondered well which poet to thank this month ’cause there are dozens of individual pieces by poets from Wakoski to Frost that I love. Millay stands out because, well, she’s kind of bitter sometimes, and kind of joyful sometimes. Almost like you can’t really be joyful unless you are bitter, a little, too. I love that.

Plus she wrote my hands-down favorite poem ever, "Afternoon on a Hill":

I will be the gladdest thing
  Under the sun!
I will touch a hundred flowers
  And not pick one.

I will look at cliffs and clouds
  With quiet eyes,
Watch the wind bow down the grass,
  And the grass rise.

And when lights begin to show
  Up from the town,
I will mark which must be mine,
  And then start down!

Isn’t that cool? As a teenager, it was that poem convinced me I could like poetry at all. And I still use that line about touching flowers instead of picking them with students — and now, Boobaby, too. Today’s expression of gratitude, therefore, is:

Thanks, Edna St. Vincent Millay!

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