Thursday, October 06, 2005

God's World

by Edna St. Vincent Millay

O world, I cannot hold thee close enough!
Thy winds, thy wide grey skies!
Thy mists, that roll and rise!
Thy woods, this autumn day, that ache and sag
And all but cry with colour! That gaunt crag
To crush! To lift the lean of that black bluff!
World, World, I cannot get thee close enough!

Long have I known a glory in it all,
But never knew I this:
Here such a passion is
As stretcheth me apart,—Lord, I do fear
Thou'st made the world too beautiful this year;
My soul is all but out of me,—let fall
No burning leaf; prithee, let no bird call.

* * *

This poem came to my mind while on a walk by the Shenandoah River yesterday. The fall colours are just beginning to tinge the edges of the trees, and that, coupled with a sweet, warm breeze, put me in a mood of being too happy, drinking in so much beauty I thought I would burst.

Oddly enough, Millay is considered a modern poet. However, in this poem at least, she avoids those things that most disgust me about modern poetry. She allows herself to be happy; she writes about God's world instead of man's degraded world; she is not afraid of being slightly archaic; she uses quite an interesting rhyme scheme. The result: a sweet, passionate poem describing the emotions all of us have felt, but "ne'er so well expressed."

1 comment:

Andreth said...

I really don't think it gets any better than a blustery Autumn day in the woods. I like that poem.