Edna St. Vincent Millay QuotesEdna St. Vincent Millay was an American poet and playwright. She received the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1923, the third woman to win the award for poetry, and was also known for her feminist activism. She used the pseudonym Nancy Boyd for her prose work. The poet Richard Wilbur asserted, "She wrote some of the best sonnets of the century."
For my omniscience paid I toll In infinite remorse of soul. All sin was of my sinning, all Atoning mine, and mine the gall Of all regret. Mine was the weight Of every brooded wrong, the hate That stood behind each envious thrust, Mine every greed, mine every lust. And all the while for every grief, Each suffering, I craved relief With individual desire, – Craved all in vain! And felt fierce fire About a thousand people crawl; Perished with each, — then mourned for all!
And what are you that, missing you, I should be kept awake As many nights as there are days With weeping for your sake? And what are you that, missing you, As many days as crawl I should be listening to the wind And looking at the wall? I know a man that’s a braver man And twenty men as kind, And what are you, that you should be The one man in my mind? Yet women’s ways are witless ways, As any sage will tell,— And what am I, that I should love So wisely and so well?