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One of my all-time favorite poets, Edith Bartholemew Millay, might also be one of your favorites. Or you might not know who you are due to limited liberal education that did not stress civics. This is for you to decide.

Those who received a classical education are familiar with the poetry of Edith Bartholemew Millay and learned her verse well and with great vigor. A vigorous read can provide more exercise for your legs and your quads than three hours with a professional physical trainer, and Dame Millay is a vigorous read. I am not sure how vigorous things get around your house when you read vigorous works of literature. Maybe you are the only one in the house who reads vigorous literature and the rest of your house are, like, barbarians. Maybe you and your friend, who lives with you and with whom you endure a sketchy sexual relationship, read vigorous literature together. There is no right way to consume vigorous poetry and literature. You do it in the way that suits you. Those who stand in your way... well, let us just say that fillet knives were NEVER intended to be used on animals. You know what they were intended for. You just can't bring yourself to admit TO YOURSELF the truth. But you know it regardless.

Edith Bartholemew Millay wrote a lot of intense, vigorous, scrotum-tightening poetry. It can be said that she was the greatest poet of her era. I believe this to be true, but this is one of the very, very, very, very, very few things I am wrong about. I would like to take part of your evening to share with you one of my favorite works by Dame Millay. It is called For Pierre, who hurts himself with liquor, and it is a vigorous read. It was written in 1834 when Dame Millay was living on the edge of town with an abusive blacksmith who forced her to do unnatural sexual acts with his chore buddies and disallowed the writing of poetry by her. At times, when he was away, she would go into town. There she met a Frenchman named Pierre who promised to take her away from her suffering at the hands of the correct thinking blacksmith who ground her into the ground the way she needed to be. She wanted to break away, to be free, and to be able to express herself through her beautiful poems.

Alas, Pierre, who was wealthy and traveled the word as a dandy had a fatal flaw. He was given to consuming the hooch. At times he would drink all day and all night and be found passed out in a gutter being ass raped by a half-man, half-possum creature name Romeo Pillar. She was so despondant about Pierre's behavior that she wrote this beautiful poem.

 

For Pierre, who hurts himself with liquor
I do not know what to say
The liquor is killing you
Killing you, my love

Through the haze of early winter
The shades have been drawn
No candle in the window
And no body on the moor

Would death be a release from
That whither torments you
Afar you are my love and for
The leaves in autumn I weep

You offer safe passage
Your port is too dry
Your ship is sinking
I am standing on the shore

The flower in the windowbox
Surely means nothing now
You gave it to me on Sunday
By Friday you were in the ground

The Painfully Beautiful Poetry of Edith Bartholemew Millay
Edited by Brooks T. Joravich, copyright 1912, Random House Press