…human love, I mean. (And in this post and in the poem I’m going to share, human love, not divine, love, transcendent as that may be, is at issue.)
This is Edna St Vincent Millay’s Sonnet XXX ( no, I know! Too funny!) about how love isn’t everything, it’s the only thing. If you’re familiar with her life you know she lived for love, with emphasis on the romantic adventure, but a healthy balance of friendship, family and marital love. (An exchange on my earlier post prompted this.)
”Love is not all; it is not meat nor drink,/Nor slumber, nor a roof against the rain,/Nor yet a floating spar to men that sink/And rise and sink and rise and sink again./Love cannot fill the thickened lung with breath,/ Nor clean the blood, nor set the fractured bone;/Yet many a man is making friends with death/Even as I speak, for lack of love alone./ It well may be that, in a difficult hour/Pinned down by pain and moaning for release, /Or nagged by want past resolution’s power,/ I might be driven to sell your love for peace,/ Or trade the memory of this night for food.
It well may be. I do not think I would.”