Where Past & Present Merge

Edna (1914), 22 years old (Wikipedia)

Sunday, April 21, 2019

For some reason, maybe because it’s Easter, perhaps because of these overcast rainy days, my mind has running through it some early lines by the American poet Edna St. Vincent Millay. She was born in 1892, and when only 19 submitted a poem she’d written to a contest. She didn’t win first place, but other poets believed she should have. The poem’s publication gained Millay a wealthy benefactor who funded her Vassar education. Millay continued writing poetry and embarked on an early 20th Century bohemian life style.

That first poem, consisting of 200+ lines of lyric poetry, she named, “Renascence”. As a high school student, I loved the poem, tried to learn and recite it from memory, for reasons no longer very clear. Yet, even today, the poem often recurs in my thoughts, and especially for some reason, on rainy, cloudy days.

It’s lines must carry some sort of deep meaning, for they come to mind while I happen to be looking around, and in particular, recalling most of Millay’s opening stanza:

All I could see from where I stood
Was three long mountains and a wood;
I turned and looked another way,
And saw three islands in a bay.
So with my eyes I traced the line
Of the horizon, thin and fine,
Straight around till I was come
Back to where I’d started from;
And all I saw from where I stood
Was three long mountains and a wood.

A Neighbor’s fence

While walking uphill on the south side of my property alongside my neighbor’s split log fence which marks our divide, I find myself drawing near the hilltop with Millay’s words on my mind. As she did years ago, I pause now and look around. From this particular hilltop, the view offers all that I might see–it’s my world, that holds but doesn’t enclose.

Dear Friends, have a lovely day, the sun’s again shining. Diana


One thought on “Where Past & Present Merge

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