Tuesday, March 15, 2016

I Do Not Approve

I was talking to David the other day about which classes he was interested in taking during high school. He mentioned taking AP Chemistry, and I immediately thought,

"Oh, perfect!    
*pesky brain trying to tell me something* *swat pesky brain away*
I'll call Beloved Friend!  
*pesky brain trying to interrupt my brilliant thought again*
And she can tell him all about......wait."

Grief bomb.

When I first read this poem, many years ago, I thought it was beautifully written, and I admired the way the author was able to use words, like a musician playing her instrument. I know the same words, much like I know how to play many of the notes on the pages of piano music, but, just as I feel I am always playing only the notes on the page instead of the music, I cannot use my words like this talented writer did.

When I read this poem again recently, there were tears rolling down my cheeks before I finished the first stanza, and I was staggered by the way the author was able to choose the perfect words to describe this experience. I could not find the right words, but THIS! Somebody DID find the words!

Dirge Without Music

I am not resigned to the shutting away of loving hearts in the hard ground.
So it is, and so it will be, for so it has been, time out of mind:
Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely. Crowned
With lilies and with laurel they go; but I am not resigned.

Lovers and thinkers, into the earth with you.
Be one with the dull, the indiscriminate dust.
A fragment of what you felt, of what you knew,
A formula, a phrase remains,----but the best is lost.

The answers quick and keen, the honest look, the laughter, the love,---
They are gone. They are gone to feed the roses. Elegant and curled
Is the blossom. Fragrant is the blossom. I know. But I do not approve.
More precious was the light in your eyes than all the roses in the world.

Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave
Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind;
Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave.
I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned.

-Edna St. Vincent Millay

When I finished reading (and crying), even though I believe that death is just a part of our journey and does not mark the end of our existence (a belief which, apparently, is not helping me miss those who are gone any less), I wanted to tattoo on my arms, cross-stitch and frame, write on the walls, or go to the top of a mountain or into a forest or the middle of a wide, open field and scream and scream and scream:



Swistle said...

It is a wonderful and terrible poem. <3 I am sorry for all of us.

mommabird2345 said...

This poem is sadly perfect. Sending so many hugs your way.