Three Songs of Shattering
Edna St. Vincent Millay (22 February 1892 — 19 October 1950)


The first rose on my rose-tree
Budded, bloomed, and shattered,
During sad days when to me
Nothing mattered.
Grief of grief has drained me clean;
Still it seems a pity
No one saw,—it must have been
Very pretty.


Let the little birds sing;
Let the little lambs play;
Spring is here; and so ’tis spring;—
But not in the old way!
I recall a place
Where a plum-tree grew;
There you lifted up your face,
And blossoms covered you.
If the little birds sing,
And the little lambs play,
Spring is here; and so ’tis spring—
But not in the old way!


All the dog-wood blossoms are underneath the tree!
Ere spring was going—ah, spring is gone!
And there comes no summer to the like of you and me,—
Blossom time is early, but no fruit sets on.
All the dog-wood blossoms are underneath the tree,
Browned at the edges, turned in a day;
And I would with all my heart they trimmed a mound for me,
And weeds were tall on all the paths that led that way!


Amy Lowell (9 February 1874 — 12 May 1925)

False blue,
Color of lilac,
Your great puffs of flowers
Are everywhere in this my New England.
Among your heart-shaped leaves
Orange orioles hop like music-box birds and sing
Their little weak soft songs;
In the crooks of your branches
The bright eyes of song sparrows sitting on spotted eggs
Peer restlessly through the light and shadow
Of all Springs.
Lilacs in dooryards
Holding quiet conversations with an early moon;
Lilacs watching a deserted house
Settling sideways into the grass of an old road;
Lilacs, wind-beaten, staggering under a lopsided shock of bloom
Above a cellar dug into a hill.
You are everywhere.
You were everywhere.
You tapped the window when the preacher preached his sermon,
And ran along the road beside the boy going to school.
You stood by pasture-bars to give the cows good milking,
You persuaded the housewife that her dish-pan was of silver
And her husband an image of pure gold.
You flaunted the fragrance of your blossoms
Through the wide doors of Custom Houses—
You, and sandal-wood, and tea,
Charging the noses of quill-driving clerks
When a ship was in from China.
You called to them: “Goose-quill men, goose-quill men,
May is a month for flitting,”
Until they writhed on their high stools
And wrote poetry on their letter-sheets behind the propped-up ledgers.
Paradoxical New England clerks,
Writing inventories in ledgers, reading the “Song of Solomon” at night,
So many verses before bedtime,
Because it was the Bible.
The dead fed you
Amid the slant stones of graveyards.
Pale ghosts who planted you
Came in the night time
And let their thin hair blow through your clustered stems.
You are of the green sea,
And of the stone hills which reach a long distance.
You are of elm-shaded streets with little shops where they sell kites and marbles,
You are of great parks where every one walks and nobody is at home.
You cover the blind sides of greenhouses
And lean over the top to say a hurry-word through the glass
To your friends, the grapes, inside.
False blue,
Color of lilac,
You have forgotten your Eastern origin,
The veiled women with eyes like panthers,
The swollen, aggressive turbans of jeweled Pashas.
Now you are a very decent flower,
A reticent flower,
A curiously clear-cut, candid flower,
Standing beside clean doorways,
Friendly to a house-cat and a pair of spectacles,
Making poetry out of a bit of moonlight
And a hundred or two sharp blossoms.
Maine knows you,
Has for years and years;
New Hampshire knows you,
And Massachusetts
And Vermont.
Cape Cod starts you along the beaches to Rhode Island;
Connecticut takes you from a river to the sea.
You are brighter than apples,
Sweeter than tulips,
You are the great flood of our souls
Bursting above the leaf-shapes of our hearts,
You are the smell of all Summers,
The love of wives and children,
The recollection of the gardens of little children,
You are State Houses and Charters
And the familiar treading of the foot to and fro on a road it knows.
May is lilac here in New England,
May is a thrush singing “Sun up!” on a tip-top ash-tree,
May is white clouds behind pine-trees
Puffed out and marching upon a blue sky.
May is a green as no other,
May is much sun through small leaves,
May is soft earth,
And apple-blossoms,
And windows open to a South wind.
May is a full light wind of lilac
From Canada to Narragansett Bay.
False blue,
Color of lilac,
Heart-leaves of lilac all over New England,
Roots of lilac under all the soil of New England,
Lilac in me because I am New England,
Because my roots are in it,
Because my leaves are of it,
Because my flowers are for it,
Because it is my country
And I speak to it of itself
And sing of it with my own voice
Since certainly it is mine.

7 thoughts on “July-17

  1. Quiet Conversations Of The Dead

    I recall the flaunted fragrance of summer, the plum, the dog-wood, the apple-blossoms, the bright sun through leaves, the budded lilac, the bloomed garden’s flower, the mound of colour. I recall soft orange earth where tall green weeds writhed restlessly in the full south wind, and pale ghosts fed slant stones in graveyards quiet conversations of the dead underneath shattered moonlight. And I recall heart-shaped souls singing verses of blue-purple grief amid wind-beaten puffs of silver clouds and brighter-than-white moon, their songs charging with the swollen river to a forgotten bay over the sea.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. You are everywhere

    I recall a place, a green like no other,
    a road, a river to the sea.
    a ship from China to Rhode Island,
    pale ghosts of light though leaves.

    You have forgotten your own voice.
    You are flood of all summers,
    clouds, moonlight,
    the smell of roots and stone hills.
    You are the bright eyes of sparrows.
    You are the panthers,
    and house cats standing beside clean doorways.

    Liked by 5 people


    All resources first trees. I’m not allowed to play, and I was pretty little balms; A number of my little flowers and grass, and ran, and ran, and the school. It looks like the old house and Pink Apple Tree! Cockle interesting Scwres (ear) and Fats (of the year). Pink storm, medium, and the wind was blowing against the door. Finally I sad; year; -Òrain his (for protection), singing, poetry and songs. And the husband of Illusion is pure gold. (Three) harmful diseases where we need? You all this (and ears). Flowers and says nothing. Pink EMI Lloeul (9 February 1874 – 12 May 1925), Pink, and I (what), third (MP) is now entirely in the night reading, Rosa, “Soomnom song” reading books , colors, pink, wall further wall windows. I smell the sweetness of a beard, and cover your chest, your cat (cat) and in Paris (of three) if you are against God Rod bhcees cheabes {} {?} Start with the need to clean; Spring is here; But in the spring; Purple, editor (who saw it ever), and all the flowers under a tree (God)! Avoid the birds as prevention. Dronn-Waardezäite balsamsolmseod Silver ensuing sat, the Cherry Blossom viewing seat.

    (. May) – soft floor, holding Connecticut to the shore line. among the stones. In the past, it is yours, and after the (ground) (boat), Maine (long fiber) a day. Pressure during the first months of film high place in accordance with {} ulnrodwerd runnelword-bomb. You (also) do not shine, and you home. That is where the ear (UK). (Difficult and vulnerable children) and softer songs; Although smaller slabs, and (two hundred) and Patrick. Your soul (heart, wolf). You and all the atmosphere of the flu, Blue wrong, sorry Sndwlaooad and the food was strange {} credit. and the kids love because aggiesrvse level. This is the rose of England fly rude, Wunllorfdey {} net, hstoelny NYC hotels grow, the second step. I know in our hearts, leaves and steps are sharing. Moonlight poetry ⊃ Prodigy If birds (song) to | – Radiation months (May.) | – Angel (now.). You do not get big flowers. Never – you know New Hampshire, white, with the best in the world, hair, holes (Recipes). (Rome), slopttlpius taste. The Government of the mirror and you Hatsy built and buildings held in May. (East) (Amy) and says: – “Song” (song), the teeth of the sunrise. “I opened the road called Duck geovls (gloves);
    Japan Cttorronidcay} {Great Dictator Seckle cekrls, Pink, Gnaizrg {} then, tender beef, spring is here; (Click) Pink, bright colors, light and shadow, prepared Purple? Your child Bounnancaray {} Baron saidhean Anu suburb of work; (East) and writing … hhaa, is spring! (Amy) – (?) Green you under the tree, every flower aromas (ears), (tree), you can shoot from the window, but the smell bad, you Silver Silver Cup Zaie flowers and blue stripes

    Friends and photos. (East) The Saint Vincent Mlilan (22 February 1892 – 19 October 1950). Green aquatic flowers very good (now the ears of the streets you have won) (a) strengthened with legs small, and their feet, and mlarebs (just), travel (direct) {Bell}. Apple is very beautiful, very good.

    Otapino houses a series of dark humor, dance music
    If you screen
    Keep away from the heart
    For many of the songs before going to bed, and I was surprised,
    And Vermont.
    The Bible tonight.
    Holiday in a small garden,
    I was surprised, white with blue sky.
    But the old way!
    I will remember the land
    Nothing important.

    Liked by 6 people

  4. clerks writing inventories in ledgers

    February 1850:
    Plum-tree blossom, great puffs of flowers, browned at the edges, leaf-shapes small, of eastern origin, (blossom time is early)
    Music-box birds, bright silver, lopsided, on clustered dog-wood stems, very pretty, (weak songs)
    Grapes, green, heart-shaped, fruit of summer greenhouses, (sweeter than apples) (shock)
    Tea, a great flood, leaves and roots, fragrance of sandalwood, (sets you up I recall)
    New England cows, 50, good milking, (but not in the old way) (staggering everywhere)
    A pair of spectacles, long distance, crooked, (false eyes)

    May 1850:
    days of pens and ledgers
    days no-one saw
    days on the high stools
    days you lean through the glass
    days with no voice
    days of the hurry-word
    days no one knows you
    days which came in the night
    days when nothing mattered

    October 1850:
    Goose quill, for decent writing, thin cut, with 25 letter-sheets, (so many verses)
    Graveyard stones, slant, propped-up, spotted with light and shadow, (curiously)
    Glass marbles, cloud white, weed green, and sky blue, 100, one shattered, (for the little shock hair boy)
    Panthers, writhing and marching, in pure gold, sea-jewelled, (aggressive eyes)
    Lilac fragrance, from far China, in cut glass, (smell of drained dishpan) (paradoxical)
    Forgotten poems, 100,000,000, on spring and lambs, on summer and roses, on children and love, (my old ghosts) (lost, all lost)

    Liked by 6 people

  5. Ghosts Moon Watching

    My recollection of Love was an early lilac Moon watching
    the Ghosts of Spring their moonlight music-box play on great parks
    at the edges of Night

    My recollection of Love was an early blue Moon watching
    the veiled Ghosts of women sing soft songs of Springs
    at the edges of Night

    My recollection of Love was an early purple Moon watching
    Ghosts writing their love letter-sheets of Grief on a ship at Sea
    at the edges of Night

    My recollection of Love was an early orange Moon watching
    Ghosts that wrote poetry standing beside jeweled doorways
    at the edges of Night

    My recollection of Love was an early rose Moon watching
    Ghosts reading paradoxical verses amid the slant stones in greenhouses
    at the edges of Night

    My recollection of Love was an early silver Moon watching
    Ghosts staggering in the Custom Houses of fragrance
    at the edges of Night

    My recollection of Love was an early white Moon watching
    Ghosts through the glass treading deserted clouds-shaded streets
    at the edges of Night

    My recollection of Love was an early blind Moon watching
    my Ghosts on all the paths that led that way for years and years bloom
    at the edges of Night
    in Shadow and Light

    Liked by 5 people

  6. Blossom Time

    Veiled women, music-box birds
    Treading poetry on elm-shaded streets
    Sing summer with their bright eyes
    As the false preacher, puffed out dog-wood
    Browned at the edge, planted the verses of the dead
    Among the heart-leaves of children
    But the wives sun souls with lilac and apple-blossoms
    Sweeter blooms than the old way
    A fragrance of jewelled flowers flitting
    Through doorways, pure gold in new soil

    Liked by 4 people

  7. (not beaten)

    grief came here
    and I fed it poetry
    every word
    a great flood of recollection
    so many false shops
    the blind side of
    the housewife
    flitting sideways
    with swollen eyes
    aggressive fragrances
    bursting above
    the smell of summer
    when his ghosts came home
    blue verses
    called from everywhere
    you have forgotten
    to sing

    Liked by 2 people

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