Friday, February 22, 2008

Poetry Friday - Edna St. Vincent Millay

Edna St. Vincent Millay was born on this day in 1892. In honor of her birthday, here are two poems of hers I particularly enjoy.

I will put Chaos into fourteen lines

I will put Chaos into fourteen lines
And keep him there; and let him thence escape
If he be lucky; let him twist, and ape
Flood, fire, and demon --- his adroit designs
Will strain to nothing in the strict confines
Of this sweet order, where, in pious rape,
I hold his essence and amorphous shape,
Till he with Order mingles and combines.
Past are the hours, the years of our duress,
His arrogance, our awful servitude:
I have him. He is nothing more nor less
Than something simple not yet understood;
I shall not even force him to confess;
Or answer. I will only make him good.

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!
The round up today is being hosted by Kelly over at Big A little a. Please stop by and check out all the great poetry being shared today. Before you go, be sure to have a look at this week's poetry stretch results. Happy poetry Friday, all!


  1. I love the idea of trapping Chaos in the fourteen lines of a poem.

    I think I'll copy this on an index card and keep it in my desk drawer with the bills. NO! In the pile I'm gathering for taxes!! NO, WAIT! In my lesson plan book!! Hmm...maybe I need multiple copies! :-)

  2. This is a new one for me but I am right with Mary Lee. I need to copy this one down. I love the last four lines.

  3. Tricia,

    I had never read the chaos poem before. "Afternoon on a Hill" has been a favorite for years.

  4. Oh, I love what you chose. And would that chaos could be contained... sigh...

  5. I've never heard that first one---and it's wonderful. Every sonnet writer should have a copy! What do you do? Oh, I contain chaos...