To what purpose, April, do you return again?
Beauty is not enough.
You can no longer quiet me with the redness
Of little leaves opening stickily.
I know what I know.
The sun is hot on my neck as I observe
The spikes of the crocus.
The smell of the earth is good.
It is apparent that there is no death.
But what does that signify?
Not only under ground are the brains of men
Eaten by maggots.
Life in itself
Is nothing,
An empty cup, a flight of uncarpeted stairs.
It is not enough that yearly, down this hill,
Comes like an idiot, babbling and strewing flowers

Analysis, meaning and summary of Edna St. Vincent Millay's poem Spring


  1. duddlewuts says:

    ok guys, this poem is about life and how it itself is not bueatiful, but how we use it

  2. Becca says:

    Undoubtedly my ideas are a little late to help Allison, but they may be of use to anyone else studying this poem!
    The reference to April in the first line I interpreted as relating to T.S. Eliot in the opening of ‘The Wasteland’ (which, in turn, is a reference to Chaucer’s ‘Prologue To The Canterbury Tales’).
    As the poem was written in 1921 (post-WWI), it depicts the imagery of the horrors of this war, which was a familiar modernist concern (T.S. Eliot in particular).The final stanza sums up modernist concerns perfectly, in my opinion. Read Eliot’s ‘Wasteland’ and I think that will really inform your reading of this poem.

  3. Allie says:

    yes i read this peom over and over i need a tp-castt for this peom. is there anyway anyone might be able to help me on this, i need it asap. please email if you can help. Thank You

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