Love is Not All (Sonnet XXX)

Edna St. Vincent Millay

 
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 can not 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.
 
Edna St. Vincent Millay, "Love is Not All" (Sonnet XXX)," from Collected Poems. Copyright 1931, 1934, 1939, © 1958 by Edna St. Vincent Millay and Norma Millay Ellis. Reprinted with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc., on behalf of Holly Peppe, Literary Executor, The Millay Society. www.millay.org.

Poems by This Author

Afternoon on a Hill by Edna St. Vincent Millay
I will be the gladdest thing
Ashes of Life by Edna St. Vincent Millay
Love has gone and left me and the days are all alike
Assault by Edna St. Vincent Millay
I had forgotten how the frogs must sound
Childhood is the Kingdom Where Nobody Dies by Edna St. Vincent Millay
Childhood is not from birth to a certain age and at a certain age
Ebb by Edna St. Vincent Millay
I know what my heart is like
First Fig by Edna St. Vincent Millay
My candle burns at both ends
God's World by Edna St. Vincent Millay
O world, I cannot hold thee close enough
Hearing your words and not a word among them (Sonnet XXXVI) by Edna St. Vincent Millay
Hearing your words, and not a word among them
Humoresque by Edna St. Vincent Millay
I know I am but summer to your heart (Sonnet XXVII) by Edna St. Vincent Millay
I know I am but summer to your heart
I shall forget you presently, my dear (Sonnet XI) by Edna St. Vincent Millay
I shall forget you presently, my dear
I think I should have loved you presently (Sonnet IX) by Edna St. Vincent Millay
I think I should have loved you presently
I, Being born a Woman and Distressed (Sonnet XLI) by Edna St. Vincent Millay
I, being born a woman and distressed
Inert Perfection by Edna St. Vincent Millay
“Inert Perfection, let me chip your shell
Inland by Edna St. Vincent Millay
People that build their houses inland,
Intention to Escape from Him by Edna St. Vincent Millay
I think I will learn some beautiful language, useless for commercial
Modern Declaration by Edna St. Vincent Millay
I, having loved ever since I was a child a few things, never having wavered
Passer Mortuus Est by Edna St. Vincent Millay
Death devours all lovely things
Recuerdo by Edna St. Vincent Millay
We were very tired, we were very merry
Renascence by Edna St. Vincent Millay
All I could see from where I stood
Second Fig by Edna St. Vincent Millay
Safe upon the solid rock the ugly houses stand:
She Is Overheard Singing by Edna St. Vincent Millay
Oh, Prue she has a patient man
Spring by Edna St. Vincent Millay
To what purpose, April, do you return again
The Plaid Dress by Edna St. Vincent Millay
Strong sun, that bleach
The Suicide by Edna St. Vincent Millay
"Curse thee, Life, I will live with thee no more!
Thursday by Edna St. Vincent Millay
And if I loved you Wednesday
Time does not bring relief (Sonnet II) by Edna St. Vincent Millay
Time does not bring relief; you all have lied
To a Young Poet by Edna St. Vincent Millay
Time cannot break the bird's wing from the bird
Travel by Edna St. Vincent Millay
The railroad track is miles away
What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why (Sonnet XLIII) by Edna St. Vincent Millay
What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why,
Wild Swans by Edna St. Vincent Millay
I looked in my heart while the wild swans went over
Witch-Wife by Edna St. Vincent Millay
She is neither pink nor pale,


Further Reading

Poems about Drinking
"To Speak of Woe That Is in Marriage"
by Robert Lowell
Driving and Drinking [North to Parowan Gap]
by David Lee
A Drinking Song
by W. B. Yeats
A Glass of Beer
by James Stephens
At the Blue Note
by Pablo Medina
Be Drunk
by Charles Baudelaire
California Plush
by Frank Bidart
Compulsively Allergic to the Truth
by Jeffrey McDaniel
Dangerous for Girls
by Connie Voisine
Days of Me
by Stuart Dischell
Deer Dancer
by Joy Harjo
Deer Hit
by Jon Loomis
Fallen Apples
by Tom Hansen
Father Listens to the Artists
by David Petruzelli
Homecoming
by Robert Lowell
I Love the Hour Just Before
by Todd Boss
I taste a liquor never brewed (214)
by Emily Dickinson
In Knowledge of Young Boys
by Toi Derricotte
In Vino Veritas
by Howard Altmann
Jet
by Tony Hoagland
Joey Awake Now
by Glyn Maxwell
Michael's Wine
by Sandra Alcosser
My Papa's Waltz
by Theodore Roethke
Nights
by Harvey Shapiro
On 52nd Street
by Philip Levine
Parties: A Hymn of Hate
by Dorothy Parker
Picking Up
by Evelyn Duncan
Scrambled Eggs and Whiskey
by Hayden Carruth
Shooting Rats at the Bibb County Dump
by David Bottoms
The Bottom
by Denise Duhamel
The Drunken Fisherman
by Robert Lowell
The Eternal City
by Jim Simmerman
The Silence
by Philip Schultz
the suicide kid
by Charles Bukowski
The Summer House
by Tony Connor
Vodka
by Joel Brouwer
When a Woman Loves a Man
by David Lehman
Wine Tasting
by Kim Addonizio