IF I should learn, in some quite casual way,
That you were gone, not to return again—
Read from the back-page of a paper, say,
Held by a neighbor in a subway train,
How at the corner of this avenue
And such a street (so are the papers filled)
A hurrying man—who happened to be you—
At noon to-day had happened to be killed,
I should not cry aloud—I could not cry
Aloud, or wring my hands in such a place—
I should but watch the station lights rush by
With a more careful interest on my face,
Or raise my eyes and read with greater care
Where to store furs and how to treat the hair.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Edna St. Vincent Millay's poem If I Should Learn, In Some Quite Casual Way

1 Comment

  1. Amelia Fairley says:

    Again, I am floored by Millay’s imagery in her sonnets. She appears on the surface to have a certain cattiness in her poetry. She at once appears hurt and bitter. After reflecting on the poem, one can easily see that the bitter tone of the speaker barely conceals a dreadfully hurt woman who conforms to society’s ideas of how she should react or behave in her brokenhearted state.

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