Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Lilacs and Lozenges

Edouard Manet, Lilacs in a Vase, 1882, Nationalgalerie, Berlin
Edna St. Vincent Millay, Renascence and Other Poems, 1917

Thou art not lovelier than lilacs,—no

Sonnet I

THOU art not lovelier than lilacs,—no,
Nor honeysuckle; thou art not more fair
Than small white single poppies,—I can bear
Thy beauty; though I bend before thee, though
From left to right, not knowing where to go,
I turn my troubled eyes, nor here nor there
Find any refuge from thee, yet I swear
So has it been with mist,—with moonlight so.

Like him who day by day unto his draught
Of delicate poison adds him one drop more
Till he may drink unharmed the death of ten,
Even so, inured to beauty, who have quaffed
Each hour more deeply than the hour before,
I drink—and live—what has destroyed some men.
Thanks for all your kind words while I've been a little under
the weather. I'm still not feeling too great, so I'm going to
take Steviewren's advice and listen to some Fiddler on the
Roof. That should do the trick.


  1. I love the painting Willow and the beautiful poem...I am happy to see those gorgeous Lilies opened...don't they smell just heavenly? Take care of thee...

  2. Gorgeous lilacs...they are just coming out in buds here now. We don't see white lilacs up here, but every shade of purple, from palest to deepest.

    Your blog is a fount of de Millay poems, she was a poetic genius, capturing such depth of feeling with her words.

    Hope you are better soon!

  3. I've never read her--will have to though. Delightful poem and beautiful painting. Hope you're feeling better soon...that music always gets me wanting to kick my legs up, clap and so on. Very enthusiastic.

  4. Lilacs always make me feel better.

    I had never read that particular poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay...she's one of my favorites.

  5. I planted white lilacs in my garden this spring! No flowers this year but it gives me another to look forward to for next spring.

    Good news on my blog :-)

    Feel better soon!

  6. Beautiful post! Hope you are feeling better soon: spring isn't a good time to feel bad. That painting is wonderful--I love how he translated "glass" here. Just wonderful, and now that our lilacs have finished for this year, I'm enjoying them all over again in that painting, too.

  7. humming "Is this the little girl I carried? Is this the little boy at play? I don't remember growing older When did they?"....wait, this may not be making you feel any better

    ...how about "To us and our good fortune
    Be happy be healthy, long life!
    And if our good fortune never comes
    Here's to whatever comes,

    Feeling better now?
    Drink l'chaim, to life!"

  8. ...and don't forget "Wonder of wonder, mir-acle of mir-acles..." that one always makes me want to run around...well, almost, today! ;)

  9. I'm sorry to hear you aren't feeling so great at the moment, but it sounds like you are doing all the right things to get well asap!


  10. DeeDee, yes, the lilies are smelling heavenly. More of them have opened since I took the picture this morning. I wish I wasn't so clogged, so I could fully enjoy their marvelous scent!

  11. Fiddler on the Roof always cheers me up too!

    Lovely painting and I hope you feel better soon sweet lady.

  12. Burying my nose in a bouquet of lilacs is tantamount to catnip to ole Tibby. I just inhale and inhale and then go about with a goofy look on my face. I mean an even goofier look. :)

    Now Willow, it's most important that you rest as much as you can in your recovery, until you feel you might go nuts from resting. So says Student Nurse BPG. Take care, enjoy all that glorious music.

  13. Thank you BPG! I'll do that. I have a big weekend ahead and need to be in top form. :) Better turn in and get some extra zzz's.

  14. Beautiful post...hope you are feeling better and returning to your peppy self.... :)
    The Bach

  15. oops, i guess it was catching after all, willow. the antibiotics finally knocked my infection out. hope you are better soon.

  16. Wow. A very impressive post.

  17. Lilacs, one of my favorites, the name alone promotes joy! I do hope you will be feeling much better today.


Inject a few raisins of conversation into the tasteless dough of existence.
― O. Henry (and me)