Spring: Babbling Like An Idiot and Strewing Flowers
  • Screen Shot 2015-03-28 at 3.03.39 PM

    Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950) — nom-de-guerre Nancy Boyd — American poetess and playwright, who at age thirty won the Pulitzer Prize, then only the third woman ever to do so, was catapulted into fame at nineteen, when her mother encouraged her to enter a poem called “Renascence” in a contest for The Lyric Year — which won, which launched her into a literary life rife with lewdness, love-affairs, liquor. Time has disclosed her to be a gifted but uneven poet — one of America’s greatest sonneteers — with the flashes of genuine genius in some of her less formal poems. Here is one such:


    To what purpose, April, do you return again?
    Beauty is not enough.
    You can no longer quiet me with the redness
    Of little leaves opening stickily.
    I know what I know.
    The sun is hot on my neck as I observe
    The spikes of the crocus.
    The smell of the earth is good.
    It is apparent that there is no death.
    But what does that signify?
    Not only under ground are the brains of men
    Eaten by maggots.
    Life in itself
    Is nothing,
    An empty cup, a flight of uncarpeted stairs.
    It is not enough that yearly, down this hill,
    Comes like an idiot, babbling and strewing flowers.

    –Edna St. Vincent Millay, RIP

About The Author

Ray Harvey

I was born and raised in the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado. I've worked as a short-order cook, construction laborer, crab fisherman, janitor, bartender, pedi-cab driver, copyeditor, and more. I've written and ghostwritten several published books and articles, but no matter where I've gone or what I've done to earn my living, there's always been literature and learning as the constant in my life.

2 Responses and Counting...

  • Rebecca Scott 03.28.2015

    Nice counter-balance to the birdsong outside. Thank you, Ray.

  • Dy

    My reply to ESVM:

    April returns with the celestial turning.
    The frozen beauty you destroyed with your long cold faithless winter,
    The death you deny,
    Is living in the heat that warms your neck.
    Proof? Evidence?
    Open late-night eyes upwards.
    The measurable music of the bodies there will blast your blind faith.
    Nothing blooms but what knows to do so.
    Sentient savvy Spring, you are no idiot.
    Under my naked toes, you soften and ooze into life.

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