What Lips My Lips Have Kissed, And Where, And Why (Sonnet Xliii)

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.

by Edna St. Vincent Millay

Comments (13)

Lovely poem.....................
It is bold and open!
.....a lovely poem with a touch of poignancy...I feel she misses the days of her youth ★
The line Thus in winter..... seems to be a syllable short (9) . It doesn't seem to affect the reading and I cannot indestand why. All the other lines have 10 syllables.
One of my absolute favorites as it recalls to mind my own many lovers of my past. A poem only a woman could write so perfectly and be so greatly understood by women everywhere. Truly one of the poets fines writes!
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