People that build their houses inland,
People that buy a plot of ground
Shaped like a house, and build a house there,
Far from the sea-board, far from the sound
Of water sucking the hollow ledges,
Tons of water striking the shore,--
What do they long for, as I long for
One salt smell of the sea once more?
People the waves have not awakened,
Spanking the boats at the harbour's head,
What do they long for, as I long for,--
Starting up in my inland bed,
Beating the narrow walls, and finding
Neither a window nor a door,
Screaming to God for death by drowning,--
One salt taste of the sea once more?
- Edna St Vincent Millay (1892-1950)
Lately we have been house hunting - so when this poem showed up in my inbox (via the daily poem e-mail from the Academy of American Poets), it seemed like a perfect choice for my Tuesday Poem this week.
Edna St. Vincent Millay was born in Rockland, Maine. She produced a large body of writing, including some of the best-known sonnets of the twentieth century, while pursuing a Bohemian lifestyle in New York City's Greenwich Village.
This week's poem at the Tuesday Poem hub is by Sam Rasnake. Also check out the sidebar there for posts from other members of the Tuesday Poem community.