Amelia is in Hawaii this week to spread the ashes of her dearest friend, who died earlier this year. This poem is for Mia, whose week (I can only imagine) will be a bit surreal; for all those I have lost; for all those my loved ones have lost; for Osama Bin Laden; for Diana Wynne Jones; for all deaths everywhere and in every time; and for all those affected by death. That is to say, for all of us.
Dirge Without Music
by Edna St Vincent Millay
I am not resigned to the shutting away of loving hearts in the hard ground.
So it is, and so it will be, for so it has been, time out of mind:
Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely. Crowned
With lilies and with laurel they go; but I am not resigned.
Lovers and thinkers, into the earth with you.
Be one with the dull, the indiscriminate dust.
A fragment of what you felt, of what you knew,
A formula, a phrase remains, — but the best is lost.
The answers quick & keen, the honest look, the laughter, the love,
They are gone. They have gone to feed the roses. Elegant and curled
Is the blossom. Fragrant is the blossom. I know. But I do not approve.
More precious was the light in your eyes than all the roses in the world.
Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave
Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind;
Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave.
I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned.