A Visit To The Asylum

Once from a big, big building, when I was small, small,
The queer folk in the windows would smile at me and call.
And in the hard wee gardens such pleasant men would hoe:
"Sir, may we touch the little girl's hair!"—
It was so red, you know. They cut me coloured asters
With shears so sharp and neat,
They brought me grapes and plums and pears
And pretty cakes to eat.
And out of all the windows, no matter where we went,
The merriest eyes would follow me and make me compliment.
There were a thousand windows, all latticed up and down.
And up to all the windows, when we went back to town,
The queer folk put their faces, as gentle as could be;
"Come again, little girl!" they called, and I called back, "You come see me!"

Edna St. Vincent Millay


Mel said...

Hadn't heard it before now....and I'm not sure what impression is left with me.
The last couple of photos are particularly ominous--maybe it's the black and white of it.

I, Like The View said...

I was actually looking at poems from another American poet, trying to remember this poet's name. . .

and came across her by accident

I guess institutions in those days were ominous

mig said...

Oh that makes me shiver. So economical and effective.

Sorrow said...

why is it when I want to leave a comment, I get distracted by the sheer weight of my words?
Now who were you looking for when you stumbled across her?

I, Like The View said...

sorrow when I was looking for the answer to your question, I found this:

What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why,
I have forgotten, and what arms have lain
Under my head till morning; but the rain
Is full of ghosts tonight, that tap and sigh
Upon the glass and listen for reply,
And in my heart there stirs a quiet pain
For unremembered loves that not again
Will turn to me at midnight with a cry.
Thus in winter stands the lonely tree,
Nor knows what birds have vanished one by one,
Yet knows its boughs more silent than before:
I cannot say what loves have come and gone,
I only know that summer sang in me
A little while, that in me sings no more.

I, Like The View said...

this is the answer to your question. . .

Time will say nothing but I told you so,
Time only knows the price we have to pay;
If I could tell you I would let you know.

If we should weep when clowns put on their show,
If we should stumble when musicians play,
Time will say nothing but I told you so.

There are no fortunes to be told, although,
Because I love you more than I can say,
If I could tell you I would let you know.

The winds must come from somewhere when they blow,
There must be reasons why the leaves decay;
Time will say nothing but I told you so.

Perhaps the roses really want to grow,
The vision seriously intends to stay;
If I could tell you I would let you know.

Suppose all the lions get up and go,
And all the brooks and soldiers run away;
Will Time say nothing but I told you so?
If I could tell you I would let you know


(actually, I don't think that was what I was looking for - which begs the question, what on earth was I looking for?)