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Edna St. Vincent Millay - An Ancient Gesture

I thought, as I wiped my eyes on the corner of my apron:
Penelope did this too.
And more than once: you can't keep weaving all day
And undoing it all through the night;
Your arms get tired, and the back of your neck gets tight;
And along towards morning, when you think it will never be light,
And your husband has been gone, and you don't know where, for years.
Suddenly you burst into tears;
There is simply nothing else to do.

And I thought, as I wiped my eyes on the corner of my apron:
This is an ancient gesture, authentic, antique,
In the very best tradition, classic, Greek;
Ulysses did this too.
But only as a gesture,—a gesture which implied
To the assembled throng that he was much too moved to speak.
He learned it from Penelope...
Penelope, who really cried.

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Added: Feb 21 2003 | Viewed: 179 times | Comments and analysis of An Ancient Gesture by Edna St. Vincent Millay Comments (773)

An Ancient Gesture - Comments and Information

Poet: Edna St. Vincent Millay
Poem: An Ancient Gesture

Comment 773 of 773, added on September 28th, 2015 at 9:33 AM.

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crork fiver from United Arab Emirates
Comment 772 of 773, added on September 3rd, 2015 at 9:46 AM.

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alex crork from Czech Republic
Comment 771 of 773, added on September 2nd, 2015 at 6:08 PM.

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crorkzz from Saint Vincent and the Grenadin

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