Intention to Escape from Him
I think I will learn some beautiful language, useless for commercial Purposes, work hard at that. I think I will learn the Latin name of every song-bird, not only in America but wherever they sing. (Shun meditation, though; invite the controversial: Is the world flat? Do bats eat cats?) By digging hard I might deflect that river, my mind, that uncontrollable thing, Turgid and yellow, strong to overflow its banks in spring, carrying away bridges; A bed of pebbles now, through which there trickles one clear narrow stream, following a course henceforth nefast— Dig, dig; and if I come to ledges, blast.
Edna St. Vincent Millay, "Intention to Escape from Him" from Collected Poems. Copyright 1931, 1934, 1939, © 1958 by Edna St. Vincent Millay and Norma Millay Ellis. Reprinted with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc., on behalf of Holly Peppe, Literary Executor, The Millay Society. www.millay.org.