A Poem For Saturday

Jun 16 2012 @ 6:14pm

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"Love Is Not All" by Edna St. Vincent Millay:

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. 

Tracy L Seffers explains how the poem sums up her love life:

[I]n the end, in that quiet space between lovers imagined by the poet, we have only ourselves to offer for "the healing of harms", as C. S. Lewis put it—the hurts that come from living in this world—the hurts we inflict on ourselves—most especially the pain we give each other. Within the embrace of that flawed and beautiful reality, this poem teaches me, love grows, wounds heal. May we find that, at the right time, it will have been enough.

("How to Kiss, 1941" via Exp.lore)