Edna St. Vincent Millay

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

Euclid Alone - Poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay

Euclid alone has looked on Beauty bare.
Let all who prate of Beauty hold their peace,
And lay them prone upon the earth and cease
To ponder on themselves, the while they stare
At nothing, intricately drawn nowhere
In shapes of shifting lineage; let geese
Gabble and hiss, but heroes seek release
From dusty bondage into luminous air.
O blinding hour, O holy, terrible day,
When first the shaft into his vision shone
Of light anatomized! Euclid alone
Has looked on Beauty bare. Fortunate they
Who, though once only and then but far away,
Have heard her massive sandal set on stone.

Comments about Euclid Alone by Edna St. Vincent Millay

  • (5/17/2014 8:59:00 AM)

    An interesting poem although not one of my favorites by the poet. still an enjoyable read. (Report) Reply

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  • (10/22/2009 10:16:00 AM)

    The 'her' in the last line refers to beauty, who Millay personifies as a woman, not to Euclid (Report) Reply

  • (3/13/2008 12:35:00 AM)

    I love this poem! It is so true that geometry is beautiful!
    That's what energizes the mathematitian, amd perhaps the philosopher as well.

    The only thing is the last line should say 'his massive sandal', not 'her'.
    (Report) Reply

    Judith Frost (9/2/2016 10:24:00 PM)

    The last line refers to Beauty herself, it's her massive sandal foot we hear, not Euclid's, so the female pronoun seems correct. (Though I'm not sure there was a Greek goddess specifically for beauty - was there?)

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Read poems about / on: beauty, alone, peace, light, hero

Poem Submitted: Thursday, January 1, 2004

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