Happy Valentines Day! One of the first poets I ever read closely was Edna St. Vincent Millay, and I think she’s appropriate to bring up on this day, since so many of her poems dealt with love, sex, and lust. I was always amazed by her because she dealt with the emotional weight of love or sex and put it in such a tight, restricting form, mostly the sonnet. Here is one of my favorite love poems by her, also a poem that captures the sorrow of loss quite well.
What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why,
I have forgotten, and what arms have lain
Under my head till morning; but the rain
Is full of ghosts tonight, that tap and sigh
Upon the glass and listen for reply;
And in my heart there stirs a quiet pain
For unremembered lads that not again
Will turn to me at midnight with a cry.
Thus in the winter stands a lonely tree,
Nor knows what birds have vanished one by one,
Yet know its boughs more silent than before:
I cannot say what loves have come and gone;
I only know that summer sang in me
A little while, that in me sings no more.