Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


The Plaid Dress

Strong sun, that bleach
The curtains of my room, can you not render
Colourless this dress I wear?—
This violent plaid
Of purple angers and red shames; the yellow stripe
Of thin but valid treacheries; the flashy green of kind deeds done
Through indolence high judgments given here in haste; 
The recurring checker of the serious breach of taste?

No more uncoloured than unmade,
I fear, can be this garment that I may not doff;
Confession does not strip it off,
To send me homeward eased and bare;

All through the formal, unoffending evening, under the clean
Bright hair,
Lining the subtle gown. . .it is not seen, 
But it is there.

Credit


Excerpted from Clotheslines: A Collection of Poetry & Art, edited by Stan Tymorek. Copyright © 2001. Published by Harry N. Abrams, Inc. All rights reserved.

Author


Edna St. Vincent Millay

Edna St. Vincent Millay was born in Rockland, Maine, on February 22, 1892. A poet and playwright poetry collections include The Ballad of the Harp-Weaver (Flying Cloud Press, 1922), winner of the Pulitzer Prize, and Renascence and Other Poems (Harper, 1917) She died on October 18, 1950, in Austerlitz, New York.

Date Published: 2001-01-01

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/plaid-dress