And what are you that, wanting you,
I should be kept awake
As many nights as there are days
With weeping for your sake?

And what are you that, missing you,
As many days as crawl
I should be listening to the wind
And looking at the wall?

I know a man that’s a braver man
And twenty men as kind,
And what are you, that you should be
The one man in my mind?

Yet women’s ways are witless ways,
As any sage will tell, —
And what am I, that I should love
So wisely and so well?

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

1 Comment

  1. KJL says:

    When I first read this poem, it sucked the breath out of me. I consider it to be one of the best love letters any woman can give a man. The poem tells him that she knows he is not perfect and that on the surface there are men who might appear to be better but she owns her love for him which makes him the special one. I absolutely love it!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Do you have any comments, criticism, paraphrasis or analysis of this poem that you feel would assist other visitors in understanding the meaning or the theme of this poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay better? If accepted, your analysis will be added to this page of American Poems. Together we can build a wealth of information, but it will take some discipline and determination.