The Light in Your Eyes

by Edna St. Vincent Millay

I am not resigned to the shutting away of loving hearts in the hard ground.
So it is, and so it will be, for so it has been, time out of mind:
Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely. Crowned
With lilies and with laurel they go; but I am not resigned.

Lovers and thinkers, into the earth with you.
Be one with the dull, the indiscriminate dust.
A fragment of what you felt, of what you knew,
A formula, a phrase remains, — but the best is lost.

The answers quick and keen, the honest look, the laughter, the love,—
They are gone. They are gone to feed the roses. Elegant and curled
Is the blossom. Fragrant is the blossom. I know. But I do not approve.
More precious was the light in your eyes than all the roses in the world.

Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave
Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind;
Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave.
I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned.

This is a poem that reaches to the core isn’t it? Of love. Of loss. Of recognition? Of that which doesn’t die, the light in your eye. Even unto physical death. Is not approving, not resigned to death of a loved one, an expression of non-acceptance? Or is it…radical acceptance. Acceptance of the complexity of life and death, of love and all the thoughts and emotions we can manifest?

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6 thoughts on “The Light in Your Eyes”

  1. Thank you so much for posting this, Rev. Mugo. As Sue says, it speaks to the heart of the matter. _/\_

  2. How amazing. Thank you. It gave a new light to tensions between resignation, acceptance, giving up as it applies in our relationships with what is happening in the world, what we can do and cant do. “I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned”. Brilliant. Thank you.

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