Dirge Without Music

We have lost many a talented artist this year. Sometimes it’s hard to imagine a world without their creativity. Just this week, we have lost Mickey Rooney and John Pinette. And those are only the famous deaths that everyone knows. Somewhere out there, there are people grieving over losses that only a few know about. Beauty snuffed out. I read this poem the other day and it almost made me weep. Millay portrays grief so perfectly.

 

Dirge Without Music

 

I am not resigned to the shutting away of loving hearts in the hard ground.

So it is, and so it will be, for it has been, time out of mind:

Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely. Crowned

With lilies and with laurel they go; but I am not resigned.

 

Lovers and thinkers, into the earth with you.

Be one with the dull, the indiscriminate dust.

A fragment of what you felt, of what you knew,

A formula, a phrase remains,–but the best is lost.

 

The answers quick and keen, the honest look, the laughter, the love,–

They are gone. They are gone to feed the roses. Elegant and curled

Is the blossom. Fragrant is the blossom. I know. But I do not approve.

More precious was the light in your eyes than all the roses in the world.

 

Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave

Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind;

Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave.

I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned.

 

–Edna St. Vincent Millay, Completed Poems

 

 

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