What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why

Jun 14, 2019

Today’s poem is “What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why (Sonnet XLIII) by Edna St. Vincent Millay, who was born in Rockland, Maine in 1892.  She was one of the most popular writers of her time and was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1923. 

What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why
by Edna St. Vincent Millay

What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why,
I have forgotten, and what arms have lain
Under my head till morning.; but the rain
Is full of ghosts tonight, that tap and sigh
Upon the glass and listen for reply,
And in my heart there stirs a quiet pain
For unremembered lads that not again
Will turn to me at midnight with a cry.
Thus in winter stands the lonely tree,
Nor knows what birds have vanished one by one,
Yet knows its boughs more silent than before:
I cannot say what loves have come and gone,
I only know that summer sang in me
A little while, that in me sings no more.  

From  Collected Poems  by Edna St. Vincent Millay, published by Harper & Brothers Publishers. Copyright © 1956 by Norma Millay Ellis.