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.

by Edna St. Vincent Millay

Comments (12)

such a good poem ever! thks dude!
I like Barry Middleton's comment below. There is a lot to this poem, and its meaning will likely change the more one reads it. I felt that perhaps she mean one shouldn't take things like the month of April in isolation. April is worth nothing as a month if it isn't part of the cycle of life and death, growth and decay. The last couple of lines - It is not enough that yearly...April comes like an idiot, babbling and strewing flowers - could be suggesting that if one only looks at the flowers, i.e. the SURFACE of what April represents, then one is missing its larger and deeper purpose as part of something greater.
I like this. She is looking under the buds and seeing something real but dark. She isn't in the mood to rhapsodize about tripping gaily through fields of wildflowers whilst birds sing merry tunes. She sees the flip side and it is there and she challenges it. Faith, or any other life philosophy, would be shallow if it did not recognize death, destruction, decay and deal with them.
She says...It is apparent there is no death. All the more reason to enjoy spring with its fresh flowers and fragrant air.
It is a month of fresh flowers and nice weather. But sadly you cant see it. Nice write though.
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