Monday, April 11, 2011

I know what I know

We're still unable to venture out as Henry's face is so full of pox, he's embarrassed. I, being contrary, will post this lovely poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay -- a sort of contradiction to all the exultant voices of Spring (and given where I live and the omnipresence of flowers, mitigating the miracle of spring a tiny bit...). I do it, though, with a smile, so there's no need to think I'm





To what purpose, April do you return again?
Beauty is not enough.
You can no longer quiet me with the redness
Of little leaves opening stickily.
I know what I know.
The sun is hot on my neck as I observe
The spikes of the crocus.
The smell of the earth is good.
It is apparent that there is no death.
But what does that signify?
Not only under ground are the brains of men
Eaten by maggots.
Life in itself
Is nothing.
An empty cup, a flight of uncarpeted stairs.
It is not enough that yearly, down this hill,
Comes like an idiot, babbling and strewing flowers.

-- Edna St. Vincent Millay


  1. April sounds a lot like Spongebob.

  2. April 2011 is definitely an Idiot.

  3. ah, fitting that you chose a photo of scabiosa ( I think it is :) )
    the foliage is so much weed, what is the point of the bloom..

    or perhaps, that is very much the point after all.

  4. For some reason that poem has always made me laugh, kind of the same laughter Dorothy Parker used to evoke. And I love pincushion flowers, especially the variety that smells like sweet, powdery old ladies!

  5. For some reason I will never be able to explain, when I read"I know what I know. Popeye's voice came into my had with "I yam what I yam and that's all that I yam". Now how does one leap from Edna St. V to Popeye?

  6. my head, yes that is it, my head.

  7. I have a neighbor whose little baby looked exactly, precisely like Sweetpea, Popeye's little baby---so funny!

  8. Edna Edna Edna! I had no idea! I have a series of books from 1929 called The Worlds 1000 Best Poems which were my moms. I wonder if that little gem is in there! She seemed to be hawing a cranky day.

  9. I have never read that poem before but there are days when that sort of poem does indeed fit the bill.

    The gone...quickly!

  10. THAT is just what i needed to read, right now, this minute. Something contrary. And I am alright, not on the edge (at the moment), just feeling a bit contrary myself, while at the same time incredibly grateful for all the support i get from people around me, you included.

  11. I love what Stephanie said .... And I love spongebob :)

    Poor Henry



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