Blogging in Paris




Edna Saint Vincent Millay (1892-1950)
Sorrow like a ceaseless rain
Beats upon my heart.
People twist and scream in pain,—
Dawn will find them still again;
This has neither wax nor wane,
Neither stop nor start.

People dress and go to town;
I sit in my chair.
All my thoughts are slow and brown:
Standing up or sitting down
Little matters, or what gown
Or what shoes I wear.

I took this photo at Florence English Cemetery. I don’t know who the woman is, but found her very moving.


10 thoughts on “Sorrow

  1. Edna Saint Vincent Millay expresses sorrow so freely. She puts words to the feelings we so often try to hide. Thanks for sharing this poem.
    The sculpture is wonderful – such detail! Do you know who she is or anything more about her?

  2. Why to be so sad ? shit !
    If I suffer, i cannot forget that in the street, nearbye, there are children, playing, being so happy, just begining to build their fantastics dreams. I am those children, we are those children. Forever.
    Life ! so much life !
    Sure, the sea is filled with the salt of the tears. Lets swim and laught between them !

  3. Thank you for posting this photo and this poem (ignore ‘catastrophy’!). Sorrow is part of living, something which I’ve been experiencing all too well lately. To try and suppress it is ultimately harmful, in my opinion. Acknowledge and acceptance, keeping in mind that it will not last, is healthier.

  4. First I apologize for my english , i am french, and try do do my best.
    Anyway, it is stupid to say: ignore catastrophy ! question of consciousness, question of style.
    In a way, Gail, i think like you, just a bit more positive. I’ve experienced sorrow A LOT, and i mean A LOT. But still the Hesperides fields are more interesting for me than despaired fields.
    yes, the sea is filed with all the tears. So much salt ! So much terrible sufferances accumulated . I just experienced the death of my best friend, terrible death, big lost of love, but his last words were a comic story: she want to leave us by seeing a smile on our faces, proposing a future, a generous fight.
    I don’t think than “crying” as philosophy is a good help for the other which love you.
    Joy is a sacred thing, a sacred fire. Perhaps the more sacred fire that exist. Surely. How is courageous for humans, to see how difficult life is, and to face it. In this space, filed with anger, the use of laughing as ultimate weapon is the answer of human dignity. The film of Bellini on this theme was a good lesson. As a teacher, I teach joy before everything !

  5. We all have been touched by death, by sadness, by loss. For me,
    there must be a time to heal, a silent place to go, a candle to
    light. For me, the first gleam of strength comes from the
    love of others, a quickening sense of fragility of life, and the gift
    of humor and laughter at a time when nothing is funny.

  6. To clarify, catastrophy, I’m saying “ignore” because it’s very rude to be swearing on someone else’s website in comments, independent of the opinion expressed. It’s fine to speak in such a way on your own site, but disrespectful on others’. French, English, it doesn’t matter.

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