I shall go back again to the bleak shore
And build a little shanty on the sand
In such a way that the extremest band
Of brittle seaweed shall escape my door
But by a yard or two; and nevermore
Shall I return to take you by the hand.
I shall be gone to what I understand,
And happier than I ever was before.
The love that stood a moment in your eyes,
The words that lay a moment on your tongue,
Are one with all that in a moment dies,
A little under-said and over-sung.
But I shall find the sullen rocks and skies
Unchanged from what they were when I was young.
Edna St. Vincent Millay’s sonnets remain favorites of mine for their dense, explosive quality that manage to retain such poise and attitude. On a bleak morning after rain, I woke up early and came to this deserted, rickity old platform to watch the clouds part. Millay’s words started running through my head. Remembering a line like “I will go back again to the bleak shore” is like finding a word on the tip of your tongue–it helps verbalize what I lack words for.