Friday, January 23, 2015

Poetry Friday: Afternoon on a Hill by Edna St. Vincent Millay

This week's poetry party is being hosted by Tara at A Teaching Life.  Thanks for hosting today, Tara.  Be sure to hop on over there to see what other poems are being shared today.

Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950) is one of my favorite poets, but so much of her poetry can be a little too sophisticated for young readers and would-be poets.  Here is one that I found always worked well for introducing Millay's poems to students and would-be poets:  

I will be the gladdest thing
   Under the sun!
I will touch a hundred flowers
   And not pick one.

I will look at cliffs and clouds
   With quiet eyes,
Watch the wind bow down the grass,
   And the grass rise.

And when lights begin to show
   Up from the town,
I will mark which must be mine,
   And then start down!
When I was still a classroom teacher, after a week of working hard, Friday afternoons were always set aside to do relaxing activities (that is, activities things that weren't graded).  It was the perfect time to bring in a little extra poetry and start a discussion.


  1. Lovely poem, Alex -- lifted me right up!

  2. I love the idea of a relaxing Fri. afternoon. The Millay poem definitely captures the spirit of rest and relaxation while still appreciating one's surroundings.

  3. I always like this ending, seems comforting: "I will mark which must be mine, And then start down!" Thanks for sharing what might be good to share about her, Alex.

  4. I love the image of the wind pressing down the grass and the grass rising. And of course the end. Finding our way home is such a good feeling. Thanks for sharing this one.

  5. I like Millay, too. The image of touching a hundred flowers is so joyous, isn't it?

  6. This is a beautiful poem. Friday afternoons should be a celebration of all the work accolished in a week.


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