POETIC BLOOMINGS READING ROOM #63 – “I KNOW I AM BUT SUMMER TO YOUR HEART”

Edna St. Vincent Millay was an American lyrical poet and playwright. 

She was too rebellious to make a success of formal education, but she won poetry prizes from a young age, (Pulitzer Prize – 1923) She also wrote verse-dramas and operas, (The King's Henchman). She chose to write under the name Nancy Boyd, not wanting to publish her novels under her own name. 

Millay was noted for her uninhibited lifestyle, forming many passing relationships. She was also a social and political activist and those relationships included prominent anti-war activists including Floyd Dell, and perhaps John Reed. She became a prominent feminist of her time and inspired a generation of American women. 

Her career as a poet was meteoric. She became the first woman to win the Pulitzer prize in poetry. She became a performance artist super-star, reading her poetry to enthusiastic audiences across the country. 

A motor accident in middle-age left her a partial invalid and she became morphine-dependent for years. In spite of her suffering in later life, she wrote some of her greatest poetry. 
Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950)

I KNOW I AM BUT SUMMER TO YOUR HEART

by Edna St. Vincent Millay

I know I am but summer to your heart,
And not the full four seasons of the year;
And you must welcome from another part
Such noble moods as are not mine, my dear.
No gracious weight of golden fruits to sell
Have I, nor any wise and wintry thing;
And I have loved you all too long and well
To carry still the high sweet breast of Spring.
Wherefore I say: O love, as summer goes,
I must be gone, steal forth with silent drums,
That you may hail anew the bird and rose
When I come back to you, as summer comes.
Else will you seek, at some not distant time,
Even your summer in another clime.