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


I, Being born a Woman and Distressed (Sonnet XLI)

I, being born a woman and distressed
By all the needs and notions of my kind,
Am urged by your propinquity to find
Your person fair, and feel a certain zest
To bear your body's weight upon my breast:
So subtly is the fume of life designed,
To clarify the pulse and cloud the mind,
And leave me once again undone, possessed.
Think not for this, however, the poor treason
Of my stout blood against my staggering brain,
I shall remember you with love, or season
My scorn with pity, —let me make it plain:
I find this frenzy insufficient reason
For conversation when we meet again.

Credit


Edna St. Vincent Millay, "I, Being born a Woman and Distressed [Sonnet XLI]," 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.

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: 1931-01-01

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/i-being-born-woman-and-distressed-sonnet-xli