Celebrating A Fellow Poet: Edna St. Vincent Millay


I usually post my own poetry on the blog on Fridays.

But, today I thought I would take the opportunity to do something a little different and post work by the celebrated American poet Edna St. Vincent Millay. I had the honor to quote her work in a college play in which I performed in 2005. (That's another story for another day.)

Here's the poem of hers that caught my eye today:

"Love Is Not All," by Edna St. Vincent Millay

Love is not all: it is not meat nor drink
Nor slumber nor a roof against the rain;
Nor yet a floating spar to men that sink
And rise and sink and rise and sink again;
Love cannot fill the thickened lung with breath,
Nor clean the blood, nor set the fractured bone;
Yet many a man is making friends with death
Even as I speak, for lack of love alone.
It well may be that in a difficult hour,
Pinned down by pain and moaning for release,
Or nagged by want past resolution's power,
I might be driven to sell your love for peace,
Or trade the memory of this night for food.
It well may be. I do not think I would.

Isn't that sly? Throwing that last line in to twist the rest on its head.

What say you? Do you think she means love actually is everything? Or is she building a case that it's something but not everything? Are there other options to consider?

I'd love to hear your thoughts.

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