Colleen's thoughts on writing, directing and coaching, and her unique take on life itself!

Friday, July 31, 2009

How do you see the world?

A Visit To The Asylum

Once from a big, big building,
When I was small, small,
The queer folk in the windows
Would smile at me and call.
And in the hard wee gardens
Such pleasant men would hoe:
"Sir, may we touch the little girl's hair!"—
It was so red, you know.
They cut me coloured asters
With shears so sharp and neat,
They brought me grapes and plums and pears
And pretty cakes to eat.
And out of all the windows,
No matter where we went,
The merriest eyes would follow me
And make me compliment.
There were a thousand windows,
All latticed up and down.
And up to all the windows,
When we went back to town,
The queer folk put their faces,
As gentle as could be;
"Come again, little girl!" they called, and I
Called back, "You come see me!"

--Edna St. Vincent Millay

One of my favorite poets, "Vincent" (1982-1950) was the first woman to receive the Pulitzer prize (1923) for poetry.

I love the subjects she assembles here of understanding and experiencing the humanity within those considered discarded.

I love the simplicity of her language, the tenderness of her description and the sweetness of the little girl's words - both contrasting the rather harsh images conjured.

If you can, read it out loud, have someone read it to you, or record it -read it to yourself!

I have read this poem to many groups, each very different, but always receive the same appreciative, pensive response.

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