Friday, March 2, 2012

"I do not approve. I am not resigned."

A poem, "Dirge Without Music," that my sister, Whitney, showed me today, that says my heart about my Pop Pop's death:

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

So it is, and so it will be, for so 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 1892–1950



The same thought, expressed in 5-year-old language by my son, Andrew, this afternoon, in protest against Pop Pop's heart/spirit no longer being present in the body we have known and loved:

"Mama,
They can just fix his body
And put his heart back in."

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