While I love the Bard, he is not the only writer of sonnets. I discovered Edna St. Vincent Millay as a teenager, caught by the rhythm of her words as well as by her recurring themes of tortured love–one that holds great appeal for adolescent girls. The poem below is one I have loved for many years:
Love is not all: it is not meat nor drink
Nor slumber nor a roof against the rain;
Nor yet a floating spar to men that sink
And rise and sink and rise and sink again;
Love can not fill the thickened lung with breath,
Nor clean the blood, nor set the fractured bone;
Yet many a man is making friends with death
Even as I speak, for lack of love alone.
It well may be that in a difficult hour,
Pinned down by pain and moaning for release,
Or nagged by want past resolution’s power,
I might be driven to sell your love for peace,
Or trade the memory of this night for food.
It well may be. I do not think I would.
As in most sonnets, the couplet at the end holds the twist–that “the memory of this night” is more than food or shelter. It’s a young woman’s poem. But even at this stage of life, we need to be reminded of the power of love.
♥ ♥ ♥