Edna St. Vincent Millay

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

When I Too Long Have Looked Upon Your Face


When I too long have looked upon your face,
Wherein for me a brightness unobscured
Save by the mists of brightness has its place,
And terrible beauty not to be endured,
I turn away reluctant from your light,
And stand irresolute, a mind undone,
A silly, dazzled thing deprived of sight
From having looked too long upon the sun.
Then is my daily life a narrow room
In which a little while, uncertainly,
Surrounded by impenetrable gloom,
Among familiar things grown strange to me
Making my way, I pause, and feel, and hark,
Till I become accustomed to the dark.

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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  • Colleen Courtney (5/17/2014 4:23:00 PM)

    Amazes me how well Millay can put into words all the ways love muddles the heart and the mind. Truly a great poet! (Report) Reply

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