Interim Poem Rhyme Scheme and Analysis


The room is full of you As I came inA
And closed the door behind me all at onceB
A something in the air intangibleC
Yet stiff with meaning struck my senses sickD
Sharp unfamiliar odors have destroyedE
Each other room's dear personalityF
The heavy scent of damp funereal flowersG
The very essence hush distilled of DeathH
Has strangled that habitual breath of homeI
Whose expiration leaves all houses deadJ
And wheresoe'er I look is hideous changeK
Save here Here 'twas as if a weed choked gateL
Had opened at my touch and I had steppedM
Into some long forgot enchanted strangeK
Sweet garden of a thousand years agoN
And suddenly thought I have been here beforeO
You are not here I know that you are goneP
And will not ever enter here againQ
And yet it seems to me if I should speakR
Your silent step must wake across the hallS
If I should turn my head that your sweet eyesT
Would kiss me from the door So short a timeU
To teach my life its transposition toV
This difficult and unaccustomed keyF
The room is as you left it your last touchW
A thoughtless pressure knowing not itselfX
As saintly hallows now each simple thingY
Hallows and glorifies and glows betweenZ
The dust's grey fingers like a shielded lightA2
There is your book just as you laid it downB2
Face to the table I cannot believeC2
That you are gone Just then it seemed to meF
You must be here I almost laughed to thinkD2
How like reality the dream had beenA
Yet knew before I laughed and so was stillE2
That book outspread just as you laid it downB2
Perhaps you thought I wonder what comes nextF2
And whether this or this will be the endG2
So rose and left it thinking to returnH2
Perhaps that chair when you arose and passedI2
Out of the room rocked silently a whileJ2
Ere it again was still When you were goneP
Forever from the room perhaps that chairK2
Stirred by your movement rocked a little whileJ2
Silently to and froN
And here are the last words your fingers wroteL2
Scrawled in broad characters across a pageM2
In this brown book I gave you Here your handN2
Guiding your rapid pen moved up and downB2
Here with a looping knot you crossed a tF
And here another like it just beyondO2
These two eccentric e's You were so smallS
And wrote so brave a handN2
How strange it seemsP2
That of all words these are the words you choseQ2
And yet a simple choice you did not knowN
You would not write again If you had knownR2
But then it does not matter and indeedS2
If you had known there was so little timeU
You would have dropped your pen and come to meF
And this page would be empty and some phraseT2
Other than this would hold my wonder nowU2
Yet since you could not know and it befellV2
That these are the last words your fingers wroteL2
There is a dignity some might not seeF
In this I picked the first sweet pea to dayW2
To day Was there an opening bud beside itX2
You left until to morrow O my loveY2
The things that withered and you came not backZ2
That day you filled this circle of my armsA3
That now is empty O my empty lifeB3
That day that day you picked the first sweet peaF
And brought it in to show me I recallS
With terrible distinctness how the smellV2
Of your cool gardens drifted in with youV
I know you held it up for me to seeF
And flushed because I looked not at the flowerC3
But at your face and when behind my lookD3
You saw such unmistakable intentE3
You laughed and brushed your flower against my lipsF3
You were the fairest thing God ever madeG3
I think And then your hands above my heartH3
Drew down its stem into a fasteningY
And while your head was bent I kissed your hairK2
I wonder if you knew Beloved handsI3
Somehow I cannot seem to see them stillE2
Somehow I cannot seem to see the dustJ3
In your bright hair What is the need of HeavenK3
When earth can be so sweet If only GodL3
Had let us love and show the world the wayW2
Strange cancellings must ink th' eternal booksM3
When love crossed out will bring the answer rightA2
That first sweet pea I wonder where it isN3
It seems to me I laid it down somewhereK2
And yet I am not sure I am not sureO3
Even if it was white or pink for thenQ
'Twas much like any other flower to meF
Save that it was the first I did not knowN
Then that it was the last If I had knownR2
But then it does not matter Strange how fewV
After all's said and done the things that areP3
Of momentQ3
Few indeed When I can makeR3
Of ten small words a rope to hang the worldS3
I had you and I have you now no moreO
There there it dangles where's the little truthT3
That can for long keep footing under thatU3
When its slack syllables tighten to a thoughtV3
Here let me write it down I wish to seeF
Just how a thing like that will look on paperC3
I had you and I have you now no moreO
O little words how can you run so straightL
Across the page beneath the weight you bearK2
How can you fall apart whom such a themeW3
Has bound together and hereafter aidG3
In trivial expression that have beenA
So hideously dignified Would GodL3
That tearing you apart would tear the threadJ
I strung you on Would God O God my mindX3
Stretches asunder on this merciless rackZ2
Of imagery O let me sleep a whileJ2
Would I could sleep and wake to find me backZ2
In that sweet summer afternoon with youV
Summer 'Tis summer still by the calendarC3
How easily could God if He so willedY3
Set back the world a little turn or twoV
Correct its griefs and bring its joys againQ
We were so wholly one I had not thoughtV3
That we could die apart I had not thoughtV3
That I could move and you be stiff and stillE2
That I could speak and you perforce be dumbZ3
I think our heart strings were like warp and woofA4
In some firm fabric woven in and outB4
Your golden filaments in fair designC4
Across my duller fibre And to dayW2
The shining strip is rent the exquisiteD4
Fine pattern is destroyed part of your heartH3
Aches in my breast part of my heart lies chilledY3
In the damp earth with you I have been tornE4
In two and suffer for the rest of meF
What is my life to me And what am IF4
To life a ship whose star has guttered outB4
A Fear that in the deep night starts awakeR3
Perpetually to find its senses strainedG4
Against the taut strings of the quivering airK2
Awaiting the return of some dread chordH4
Dark Dark is all I find for metaphorO
All else were contrast save that contrast's wallS
Is down and all opposed things flow togetherC3
Into a vast monotony where nightA2
And day and frost and thaw and death and lifeB3
Are synonyms What now what now to meF
Are all the jabbering birds and foolish flowersG
That clutter up the world You were my songI4
Now let discord scream You were my flowerC3
Now let the world grow weeds For I shall notJ4
Plant things above your grave the common balmK4
Of the conventional woe for its own woundL4
Amid sensations rendered negativeM4
By your elimination stands to dayW2
Certain unmixed the element of griefN4
I sorrow and I shall not mock my truthT3
With travesties of suffering nor seekR
To effigy its incorporeal bulkO4
In little wry faced images of woeN
I cannot call you back and I desireC3
No utterance of my immaterial voiceP4
I cannot even turn my face this wayW2
Or that and say My face is turned to youV
I know not where you are I do not knowN
If Heaven hold you or if earth transmuteW2
Body and soul you into earth againQ
But this I know not for one second's spaceQ4
Shall I insult my sight with visioningsQ4
Such as the credulous crowd so eager eyedW2
Beholds self conjured in the empty airK2
Let the world wail Let drip its easy tearsQ4
My sorrow shall be dumbZ3
What do I sayQ4
God God God pity me Am I gone madW2
That I should spit upon a rosaryF
Am I become so shrunken Would to GodW2
I too might feel that frenzied faith whose touchW
Makes temporal the most enduring griefN4
Though it must walk a while as is its wontW2
With wild lamenting Would I too might weepR4
Where weeps the world and hangs its piteous wreathsQ4
For its new dead Not Truth but Faith it isQ4
That keeps the world alive If all at onceQ4
Faith were to slacken that unconscious faithS4
Which must I know yet be the corner stoneR2
Of all believing birds now flying fearlessQ4
Across would drop in terror to the earthT4
Fishes would drown and the all governing reinsQ4
Would tangle in the frantic hands of GodW2
And the worlds gallop headlong to destructionK3
O God I see it now and my sick brainU4
Staggers and swoons How often over meF
Flashes this breathlessness of sudden sightW2
In which I see the universe unrolledW2
Before me like a scroll and read thereonP
Chaos and Doom where helpless planets whirlV4
Dizzily round and round and round and roundW2
Like tops across a table gathering speedW2
With every spin to waver on the edgeW4
One instant looking over and the nextW2
To shudder and lurch forward out of sightW2
Ah I am worn out I am wearied outW2
It is too much I am but flesh and bloodW2
And I must sleep Though you were dead againQ
I am but flesh and blood and I must sleepR4

Edna St. Vincent Millay


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