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Sonnet IV; I shall forget you presently, my dear

In 1920s Greenwich Village, Edna St. Vincent Millay wrote Shakespearean sonnets that toppled clichés of love and romance. To probe this unsentimental break-up poetry, host Elisa New speaks with musician Natalia Zukerman, poet Olivia Gatwood, New York Times advice columnist Philip Galanes, writer Leslie Jamison, scholar of Greenwich Village Jeffery Kennedy, and a chorus of National Student Poets.

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Sonnet IV; I shall forget you presently, my dear

I shall forget you presently, my dear,
So make the most of this, your little day,
Your little month, your little half a year,
Ere I forget, or die, or move away,
And we are done forever; by and by
I shall forget you, as I said, but now,
If you entreat me with your loveliest lie
I will protest you with my favorite vow.
I would indeed that love were longer-lived,
And vows were not so brittle as they are,
But so it is, and nature has contrived
To struggle on without a break thus far,—
Whether or not we find what we are seeking
Is idle, biologically speaking.

http://millay.org/poetryarchives.php

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I shall forget you presently, my dear,
So make the most of this, your little day,
Your little month, your little half a year,
Ere I forget, or die, or move away,
And we are done forever; by and by
I shall forget you, as I said, but now,
If you entreat me with your loveliest lie
I will protest you with my favorite vow.
I would indeed that love were longer-lived,
And vows were not so brittle as they are,
But so it is, and nature has contrived
To struggle on without a break thus far,—
Whether or not we find what we are seeking
Is idle, biologically speaking.

http://millay.org/poetryarchives.php

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