Saturday, April 5, 2014

Poem of the Day: "Travel" by Edna St. Vincent Millay

"Travel" by Edna St. Vincent Millay is the Songs of Eretz Poem of the Day for April 5, 2014 and also the offering from Poets.org's Poem-A-Day for the same date.  Since the poem was published in 1921, it is in the public domain.  It is reprinted here.

Travel

by Edna St. Vincent Millay
 
The railroad track is miles away,
    And the day is loud with voices speaking,
Yet there isn't a train goes by all day
    But I hear its whistle shrieking.

All night there isn't a train goes by,
    Though the night is still for sleep and dreaming,
But I see its cinders red on the sky,
    And hear its engine steaming.

My heart is warm with friends I make,
    And better friends I'll not be knowing;
Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,

    No matter where it's going.

Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892 - 1950) (pictured) was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1923.  She lived a notoriously Bohemian, bisexual lifestyle in Greenwich Village.  Reference to this and additional biographical information may be found here:  http://www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/160.

"Travel" takes the form of a traditional ballad.  If the first person speaker is assumed to be the poet, the poem reveals her to be a misanthrope--one who prefers to get away and leave her "friends" behind."


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