Elinor Morton Wylie

(7 September 1885 – 16 December 1928 / Somerville, New Jersey)

Valentine - Poem by Elinor Morton Wylie

Too high, too high to pluck
My heart shall swing.
A fruit no bee shall suck,
No wasp shall sting.

If on some night of cold
It falls to ground
In apple-leaves of gold
I'll wrap it round.

And I shall seal it up
With spice and salt,
In a carven silver cup,
In a deep vault.

Before my eyes are blind
And my lips mute,
I must eat core and rind
Of that same fruit.

Before my heart is dust
By the end of all,
Eat it I must, I must
Were it bitter gall.

But I shall keep it sweet
By some strange art;
Wild honey I shall eat
When I eat my heart.

O honey cool and chaste
As clover's breath!
Sweet Heaven I shall taste
Before my death.

Comments about Valentine by Elinor Morton Wylie

  • Susan Williams (2/17/2016 4:15:00 PM)

    Some would question the nature of Wylie's heart as well as question if she had one. She had a string of marriages that she closed the door to by running off with married men and letting the pieces fall where they may- -left her first child behind her. (Report) Reply

    Denis Mair (2/17/2016 5:01:00 PM)

    Thanks for the illuminating infusion of reality. I thought maybe Eleanor was making a vow to herself that she should give everything for love. She declares herself a votary at love's shrine even before love begins, so that she can approach it properly as an encounter with fate, rather than being drawn willy-nilly into a relationship with a cad who toys with her feelings. She doesn't want a player to play her. She wants something that stirs both parties to the core, the kind with poetry in it- -that makes one's stomach drop while turning a corner and running runs into the other. The fact that she bungled it may say something about the inadvisability of cultivating this kind of expectation about love.

    17 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Ahmed Gumaa Siddiek (2/17/2016 5:02:00 AM)

    But I shall keep it sweet
    By some strange art;
    Wild honey I shall eat
    When I eat my heart.

    very strong passion and great love with eagerness. Very expressive poem.
    (Report) Reply

  • (2/17/2016 4:44:00 AM)

    Every aspect of the poem like rhyme, flow and meaning is simply superb and it is a delight to read it. Thanks for sharing. (Report) Reply

  • Samuel Adesunloro (2/17/2016 2:57:00 AM)

    Hey where's my comment? (Report) Reply

  • Samuel Adesunloro (2/17/2016 2:57:00 AM)

    I especially like that it's about valentine, very good. (Report) Reply

  • Mohammed Asim Nehal (2/17/2016 1:43:00 AM)

    WOW...wow superb poem...One of the best I read on valentine so far....Loved it..10 (Report) Reply

Read all 7 comments »

Read this poem in other languages

What do you think this poem is about?

Read poems about / on: silver, heaven, valentine, death, heart, night

Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003

Poem Edited: Friday, December 16, 2011

[Report Error]