Famous Death Poem

Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950) was considered one of the most skillful writers of sonnets during the 1900s. This poem is a Petrarchan sonnet that follows the rhyme scheme ABBA ABBA CDEECD. She writes of the pain experienced from the death of a loved one. Everything reminds her of him, and the passing of time does not ease the immense hurt she is experiencing, even though people said it would. Anyone who has lost someone they’ve loved will be able to relate to the raw emotion in this poem.

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Time Does Not Bring Relief (Sonnet II)

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Time does not bring relief; you all have lied   
Who told me time would ease me of my pain!   
I miss him in the weeping of the rain;   
I want him at the shrinking of the tide;
The old snows melt from every mountain-side,   
And last year’s leaves are smoke in every lane;   
But last year’s bitter loving must remain
Heaped on my heart, and my old thoughts abide.   
There are a hundred places where I fear   
To go,—so with his memory they brim.   
And entering with relief some quiet place   
Where never fell his foot or shone his face   
I say, “There is no memory of him here!”   
And so stand stricken, so remembering him.

more Edna St. Vincent Millay

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