26 February 2008

Domestic as a Plate

I love poetry! If I don't read at least a tiny poem every single day, my spirit might curl up and die -- or something equally dramatic. (If I could think of anything equally dramatic, which I can't.) Fortunately, a dear friend gave me a page-a-day calendar of poems for mornings that I don't have time to peruse the bookshelves. Saturday's offering was "Grown-Up" by Edna St. Vincent Millay. It's one of those simple/profound gems that one feels compelled to share. (So of course I thought of you!)

Was it for this I uttered prayers,
And sobbed and cursed and kicked the stairs,
That now, domestic as a plate,
I should retire at half-past eight?
(from Selected Poems by Edna St. Vincent Millay, The Millay Society, 1922, 1950)

That is so me!

Interestingly, it is so not Edna, whose friends called her Vincent. From everything I've read, she was quite the Bohemian. (If she went to bed at eight, I suspect she either wasn't alone or had a cold.) Unlike Emily Dickinson who simply defines life for me, Edna rarely gets it right from my perspective. But this time she did and I love her for it!

Isn't it marvelous that a poet can say in 28 words what a novelist can't seem to nail in 78,000?


Karlene said...

I love her poetry. She's my favorite of all time.

Cheri J. Crane said...

Would you hate me if I reveal I'm an ogden nash fan? ;)Actually, I like most poetry and poets, but since I'm a silly person, I sometimes lean toward silliness.

Excellent blog.

Tristi Pinkston said...

I've always loved going to bed -- when I was little, I used that as my time to just imagine. But now, as an adult, I often don't get to go to bed -- it just doesn't happen. :)

Anonymous said...

you usually dont even make it until half-past eight!! :o)

Julie Wright said...

Love the poem. And so true! Except I never get to bed that early any more. I dream about it, but it never happens. I can wish though.