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(22 February 1892 – 19 October 1950 / Rockland / Maine / United States)

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Bluebeard

This door you might not open, and you did;
So enter now, and see for what slight thing
You are betrayed... Here is no treasure hid,
No cauldron, no clear crystal mirroring
The sought-for truth, no heads of women slain
For greed like yours, no writhings of distress,
But only what you see... Look yet again—
An empty room, cobwebbed and comfortless.
Yet this alone out of my life I kept
Unto myself, lest any know me quite;
And you did so profane me when you crept
Unto the threshold of this room to-night
That I must never more behold your face.
This now is yours. I seek another place.

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004


Read poems about / on: greed, women, truth, alone, night, mirror, woman

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Comments about this poem (Bluebeard by Edna St. Vincent Millay )

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  • * Sunprincess * (1/29/2014 6:11:00 PM)

    ......could this losing the privacy of her sacred room be the same
    as losing the secrets of her innermost self...seems as if this is
    what happened she was truly VIOLATED and disgusted by this
    man named bluebeard...an unnerving and startling write...

    2 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Kimberly R (2/9/2012 11:26:00 PM)

    I love the tone of the ending of this poem. It has such a quiet disgust at the intrusion of one into a person's personal space that I cannot help but feel that it perfectly catches the moment.

  • Janice Stromoski (10/10/2006 3:36:00 PM)

    I discovered Edna early on in life and her poems have stayed with me as some of the most beautiful and well written. This poem in particular remains my favorite. For me, this poem is about that small part of yourself that is sacred and secret from the world. Just like Bluebeard, we would feel that the pinch of injustice is someone came along and stole that away. I hope you come to enjoy Edna as much as I do!

  • Barb Pall (2/16/2006 8:32:00 PM)

    This poem is so melancholy, so uterly unlike the BlueBeard you would expect. The subtle rhymes and the ending, so quiet, and nearly terrifying.

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