Catherine Chandler's Poetry Blog

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Day 9, National Poetry Month: " . . .a flight of uncarpeted stairs"

The fatal staircase at Steepletop where Edna St. Vincent Millay
was found dead on October 19, 1950.
 Photo by M. J. Cooney (Source:


By Edna St. Vincent Millay

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.

No comments: