Tuesday, December 10, 2013


  by Edna St. Vincent Millay

The railroad track is miles away, 
    And the day is loud with voices speaking, 
Yet there isn't a train goes by all day 
    But I hear its whistle shrieking.

All night there isn't a train goes by, 
    Though the night is still for sleep and dreaming, 
But I see its cinders red on the sky, 
    And hear its engine steaming.

My heart is warm with friends I make, 
    And better friends I'll not be knowing; 
Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take, 
    No matter where it's going.

The way I choose poems for my Tuesday posts is probably a mystery to a lot of my readers. Truthfully, there is probably no "rhyme" or reason to it.  I choose what I like and post it.  Today was a bit different.  I came across the picture above and knew I wanted a poem about trains. I love traveling by train; it was one of my favorite things about Europe.  Railway travel is honestly not very practical where I live in the South.  However, when I saw the picture above, I immediately thought about how romantic it would be to be in a sleeper car curled up next to your lover as the trains rocks back and forth down the railway.  So I knew I had to find a poem about trains and decide to do some research.  After reading a dozen or so poems, I came across the beautiful poem above by Edna St. Vincent Millay. After reading is poem, I fell in love with the last two lines:
Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take, 
    No matter where it's going.
I feel the same way, especially if I was traveling with a lover.  I have never enjoyed flying, so I much prefer train travel.  There isn't a train I wouldn't take, no matter where it was going.  Do any of you like traveling by train?

Edna St. Vincent Millay

Poet and playwright Edna St. Vincent Millay was born in Rockland, Maine, on February 22, 1892. Her mother, Cora, raised her three daughters on her own after asking her husband to leave the family home in 1899. Cora encouraged her girls to be ambitious and self-sufficient, teaching them an appreciation of music and literature from an early age. In 1912, at her mother's urging, Millay entered her poem "Renascence" into a contest: she won fourth place and publication in The Lyric Year, bringing her immediate acclaim and a scholarship to Vassar. There, she continued to write poetry and became involved in the theater. She also developed intimate relationships with several women while in school, including the English actress Wynne Matthison. In 1917, the year of her graduation, Millay published her first book, Renascence and Other Poems. At the request of Vassar's drama department, she also wrote her first verse play, The Lamp and the Bell (1921), a work about love between women.

Millay, whose friends called her "Vincent," then moved to New York's Greenwich Village, where she led a notoriously Bohemian life. She lived in a nine-foot-wide attic and wrote anything she could find an editor willing to accept. She and the other writers of Greenwich Village were, according to Millay herself, "very, very poor and very, very merry." She joined the Provincetown Players in their early days, and befriended writers such as Witter Bynner, Edmund Wilson, Susan Glaspell, and Floyd Dell, who asked for Millay's hand in marriage. Millay, who was openly bisexual, refused, despite Dell's attempts to persuade her otherwise. That same year Millay published A Few Figs from Thistles (1920), a volume of poetry which drew much attention for its controversial descriptions of female sexuality and feminism. In 1923 her fourth volume of poems, The Harp Weaver, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize. In addition to publishing three plays in verse, Millay also wrote the libretto of one of the few American grand operas, The King's Henchman (1927).

Millay married Eugen Boissevain, a self-proclaimed feminist and widower of Inez Milholland, in 1923. Boissevain gave up his own pursuits to manage Millay's literary career, setting up the readings and public appearances for which Millay grew quite famous. According to Millay's own accounts, the couple acted liked two bachelors, remaining "sexually open" throughout their twenty-six-year marriage, which ended with Boissevain's death in 1949. Edna St. Vincent Millay died in 1950.


silvereagle said...

There is not a train I would not take no matter where it is going.....a good idea for sure....especially the train of life...go with it wherever it may lead. When you find a lover the ride will be even more enjoyable.

I also love the trains in Europe....refined, classy, relaxing...and I love to lie beside my love when we can, but that is in a bed or on a beach, has not yet been on a train...but who knows......

JiEL said...

In winter, I travel to my relatives place in Quebec City....
A nice 3 hours trip in a relax atmospher..
They provide internet connection and I can stay in touch with friends and my sister in Quebec.

But as I'm alone, single, I can only dream of an «intimate» trip with a love one...

A dream for a long time for sure because I'm too «old» for many gay men...

Nice post as usual...
(((( HGS ))))

Richard said...

When I was at college in North Carolina I always took the train from my home in Delaware to Charlotte. It was great fun and I loved eating in the diner on the train.

Anonymous said...

I love train travel. I've traveled between Charleston and Richmond, and pretty much all over England on the train. It's a great way to travel!!!

And, it's a nice poem.

Peace <3

Anonymous said...

Take the monthly passebbnger train from Lima (Peru) to Huancayothe standard gauge train climns from 0meteres to 4880meters over sea level (tha highets in the world67 tunnels and 67 bridges;breath taking unique ttrain journeyin the world!!