Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Departure / Edna St. Vincent Millay


It's little I care what path I take,
      And where it leads it’s little I care;
But out of this house, lest my heart break,
      I must go, and off somewhere.

It’s little I know what’s in my heart,
      What’s in my mind it’s little I know,
But there’s that in me must up and start,
      And it’s little I care where my feet go.

I wish I could walk for a day and a night,
      And find me at dawn in a desolate place
With never the rut of a road in sight,
      Nor the roof of a house, nor the eyes of a face.

I wish I could walk till my blood should spout,
      And drop me, never to stir again,
On a shore that is wide, for the tide is out,
      And the weedy rocks are bare to the rain.

But dump or dock, where the path I take
      Brings up, it’s little enough I care;
And it’s little I’d mind the fuss they’ll make,
      Huddled dead in a ditch somewhere.

“Is something the matter, dear,” she said,
      “That you sit at your work so silently?”
“No, mother, no, ’twas a knot in my thread.
      There goes the kettle, I’ll make the tea."

Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950)
from The Harp-Weaver, and other poems, 1923

[Poem is in the public domain in Canada]

Edna St. Vincent Millay biography

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