By Edna St.Vincent Millay
“I shall forget you presently, my dear
So make the most of this, your little day,
Your little month, your little half a year,
Ere I forget, or die, or move away,
And we are done forever…
“I shall forget you presently, my dear”– Imagine the girl telling the lover this. Cheeky ,yet romantic .She has her cheeks full. He cannot afford to while it away. To her it does not really matter because she will forget him presently. There is a strong possibility of her forgetting .Of her dying .Of her moving away . It is in his interest that he make most of this moment – his little day , his little month or his little half a year.
If he does not use this very moment, it is all over and may be , they are done for ever.Carpe diem.
Cheeky girl indeed. Does it not matter in her cheeks to hold this moment for ever?
“Whether she’s writing about the endless curiosity of the body, the challenges that accompany being a feminist who isn’t afraid to defend her autonomy….”
Kimmy Walters in an interview by Mandy Shunnarah following her poetry book publication Killer
Reading this ,I wonder how I have come to read the word “autonomy” that is actually there, as “anatomy “. I noticed the perversion only when I took down this quote for keep.
Now, was it perversion? That was not what I intended but that was how it would emerge from my keyboard.
Coming back to “Autonomy”, I confess the word “anatomy” suggested itself to me when I started taking down notes. Was it because she was writing about the endless curiosity about the body? The next thing you see is a feminist talking about the anatomy of the body, rather than autonomy of the feminist mind ,which means probably perceptual independence from male point of view that tends to color a person’s world view in a dominantly male world.
As a liberal I feel conscience-stricken about how we tend to distort what we read ,in line with our own narrow thinking.
“Language is the hallmark of humanity—it allows us to form deep relationships and complex societies. But we also use it when we’re all alone; it shapes even our silent relationships with ourselves. In his book, The Voices Within, Charles Fernyhough gives a historical overview of “inner speech”—the more scientific term for “talking to yourself in your head.”
The author says besides talking to others we talk to ourselves a kind of inner language that has no words or words fewer than words of our language but that which runs faster .
Just now what is taking place within me as I am thinking and writing about it? I think I was meandering and now I reach a point very different to what the normal language may have taken me to. But at the end if it, I land up in a poem about a leader who is speaking her inner language from below the earth where death had reached her yesterday evening. In the normal language there is no sense to what I say I was doing.
In my poem it makes sense, if I think all this through the inner language in me that runs faster than a language. So I am in a mess. But poetry is about being in mess, in the inner language that takes long leaps across spaces between words .
Life is a sonnet : an illustrated passage from A wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’engle
Madam says life is a sonnet and we are doomed within its strict structure. But we have the freedom to say whatever we can within its stifling form. So please keep your Iambs ready, neatly cut and if the syllables spill use an inverted coma. But fit the syllables within the allotted emphasis.
Remember you have just fourteen lines. Not all of them are of uniform size because some syllables are more equal than others. Cut out your love for uniform size. Let them spill if that cannot be helped and use your punctuation with a little license.
You do not have much to say by the twelfth line and you are already in the epigrammatic mode? Well yes that is how it happens in life as in sonnet. If nothing else you use the epigram for the headstone.
(There too, as everywhere, I sometimes expected the Visitor who never comes. The Vishnu Purana says, ‘The house-holder is to remain at eventide in his courtyard as long as it takes to milk a cow, or longer if he pleases, to await the arrival of a guest.’ I often performed this duty of hospitality, waited long enough to milk a whole herd of cows, but did not see the man approaching from the town.
We have burst upon Thoreau’s solitude when no visitor arrives in the eventide from all those towns in the distant haze as they sit in their prime , beyond fields.
All the while, milking of cow takes place. The cows are a solitude to themselves before their milk flows to morning coffee .Their feet shuffle in slush, their eyes vacant. Only a tiny moon hangs above their tin roof .
Solitude is not away from body’s music, more in the windy creak of dead wood as strange words spring in a white space from the vast wild wastes of our nights. We sit alone, away from milking cows linking their remote existence to solitude.
Here we are all, by day; by night we’re hurl’d
By dreams, each one into a several world.
A short sweet poem I have always loved.
“Each one into a several world” is a lovely usage. Here several means not many but individually distinct and separate from each other. By day we are all but by night we are hurled into our separate worlds, the world of our dreams.Each one of us has to dream his own dream and enact it all by himself. We have no choice to choose our dreams but are hurled into them and have to play the part assigned to us in them,pleasant or unpleasant.
“Hurled” is reminiscent of Milton’s “hurled headlong” in Paradise Lost. The fallen angels are hurled headlong into hell.
Dreams are an extension of sleep like death from which there is no waking up.By night each of us has to face his several world of dreams alone , unlike by day when we are all together.