Edna St. Vincent Millay

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

The Curse Poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay


Oh, lay my ashes on the wind
That blows across the sea.
And I shall meet a fisherman
Out of Capri,

And he will say, seeing me,
"What a Strange Thing!
Like a fish's scale or a
Butterfly's wing."

Oh, lay my ashes on the wind
That blows away the fog.
And I shall meet a farmer boy
Leaping through the bog,

And he will say, seeing me,
"What a Strange Thing!
Like a peat-ash or a
Butterfly's wing."

And I shall blow to YOUR house
And, sucked against the pane,
See you take your sewing up
And lay it down again.

And you will say, seeing me,
"What a strange thing!
Like a plum petal or a
Butterfly's wing."

And none at all will know me
That knew me well before.
But I will settle at the root
That climbs about your door,

And fishermen and farmers
May see me and forget,
But I'll be a bitter berry
In your brewing yet.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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