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Millay Has Her Way with a Vassar Professor
by Michael R. Burch

After a night of hard drinking and spreading her legs,
Millay hits the dorm, where the Vassar don begs:
“Please act more chastely, more discretely, more seemly!”
(His name, let’s assume, was, er ... Percival Queemly.)

“Expel me! Expel me!”—She flashes her eyes.
“Oh! Please! No! I couldn’t! That wouldn’t be wise,
for a great banished Shelley would tarnish my name ...
Eek! My game will be lame if I can’t milque your fame!”

“Continue to live here—carouse as you please!”
the beleaguered don sighs as he sags to his knees.
Millay grinds her crotch half an inch from his nose:
“I can live in your hellhole, strange man, I suppose ...
but the price is your firstborn, whom I’ll sacrifice to Moloch.”
(Which explains what became of pale Percy’s son, Enoch.)

Originally published by Lucid Rhythms. This poem is based on an account of Edna St. Vincent Millay being confronted by a male Vassar authority about her rogue behavior. However, there is a some poetic license involved, for the sake of humor. It was actually Vassar President Henry Noble MacCracken who mentioned Shelley. Here is his account in a response to a question about Millay cutting classes: "She cut everything. I once called her in and told her, 'I want you to know that you couldn't break any rule that would make me vote for your expulsion. I don't want to have any dead Shelleys on my doorstep, and I don't care what you do.' She went to the window and looked out and she said, 'Well on those terms I think I can continue to live in this hellhole.'" The stuff about Enoch and Moloch is, of course, pure fabrication on my part.
Keywords/Tags: Millay, dead, Shelley, Vassar, dorm, hellhole, drinking, partying, ***, cutting classes
Lyner Apr 7
The stars sparkle like
LED lights
Hung upon the walls of a celestial dorm
A college student in the skies
studies the small creatures below
She writes her essays on myths
that humans told long ago
Her professor grades the paper
judging not on fact, but on prose
Classmates chat in the halls
About classes, about dating, about parties
But the lunar lady continues watching
with a cautious eye
As we go about our daily lives
These Hallowed Halls
by Michael R. Burch

a young Romantic Poet mourns the passing of an age . . .

I.

A final stereo fades into silence
and now there is seldom a murmur
to trouble the slumber
of these ancient halls.

I stand by a window where others have watched
the passage of time—alone,
not untouched.

And I am as they were
                ...unsure...
for the days
stretch out ahead,
a bewildering maze.

II.

Ah, faithless lover—
that I had never touched your breast,
nor felt the stirrings of my heart,
which until that moment had peacefully slept.

For now I have known the exhilaration
of a heart that has vaulted the Pinnacle of Love,
and the result of each such infatuation—
the long freefall to earth, as the moon glides above.

III.

A solitary clock chimes the hour
from far above the campus,
but my peers,
returning from their dances,
heed it not.

And so it is
that we seldom gauge Time’s speed
because He moves so unobtrusively
about His task.

Still, when at last
we reckon His mark upon our lives,
we may well be surprised
at His thoroughness.

IV.

Ungentle maiden—
when Time has etched His little lines
so carelessly across your brow,
perhaps I will love you less than now.

And when cruel Time has stolen
your youth, as He certainly shall in course,
perhaps you will wish you had taken me
along with my broken heart,
even as He will take you with yours.

V.

A measureless rhythm rules the night—
few have heard it,
but I have shared it,
and its secret is mine.

To put it into words
is as to extract the sweetness from honey
and must be done as gently
as a butterfly cleans its wings.

But when it is captured, it is gone again;
its usefulness is only
that it lulls to sleep.

VI.

So sleep, my love, to the cadence of night,
to the moans of the moonlit hills’
bass chorus of frogs, while the deep valleys fill
with the nightjar’s shrill, cryptic trills.

But I will not sleep this night, nor any;
how can I—when my dreams
are always of your perfect face
ringed by soft whorls of fretted lace,
framed by your perfect pillowcase?

VII.

If I had been born when knights roamed the earth
and mad kings ruled savage lands,
I might have turned to the ministry,
to the solitude of a monastery.

But there are no monks or hermits today—
theirs is a lost occupation
carried on, if at all,
merely for sake of tradition.

For today man abhors solitude—
he craves companions, song and drink,
seldom seeking a quiet moment,
to sit alone, by himself, to think.

VIII.

And so I cannot shut myself
off from the rest of the world,
to spend my days in philosophy
and my nights in tears of self-sympathy.

No, I must continue as best I can,
and learn to keep my thoughts away
from those glorious, uproarious moments of youth,
centuries past though lost but a day.

IX.

Yes, I must discipline myself
and adjust to these lackluster days
when men display no chivalry
and romance is the "old-fashioned" way.

X.

A single stereo flares into song
and the first faint light of morning
has pierced the sky's black awning
once again.

XI.

This is a sacred place,
for those who leave,
leave better than they came.

But those who stay, while they are here,
add, with their sleepless nights and tears,
quaint sprigs of ivy to the walls
of these Hallowed Halls.

NOTE: I wrote this poem from the window of my freshman dorm at age 18, while watching students returning from rush week parties in the wee hours of the morning. There is also a sonnet version of the poem. In this longer version there are clues that the poet, like Prufrock, is aware of the quaintness of his Romanticism in the modern age. I consider “These Hallowed Halls” to be my Ars Poetica, along with “Poetry.” Keywords/Tags: College, dorm, fraternity, rush, Romantic, unrequited, love, ivy, halls, learning, education, ivory, towers, stereo, music, romance, chivalry, maidens, damsels, knights, kings, monks, hermits, clock, time
Kaitlin Jan 15
Sometimes dorms stink of stories,
Of drunken romps and late night melodies
Of no-good ramen smashed down sinks
Broken hearts and centipedes

Sometimes late at night,
(Tonight)
Showers reset arteries,
'Til we smell of peppermint
And scrub out grime and memories.
Cardboard-Jones Nov 2019
I’m in a dorm room with the lights all off,
You were there, it’s 5:15.
The day was fading and all I see
Is the flickering lights from the city.

The sun was burning now just like the whiskey,
Or was it Crown? It’s 9:16.
I smelled tangerines.
Was that your perfume?
I swear I could see for miles in your eyes.
You wanted me to say it, so I said it.

I’m afraid.
To be myself, to be a man.
But I’m 19.
Guess I’ll figure that out as best I can.

I really miss that dorm room.
Arabella B Sep 2019
Sitting on her dorm room bed
Three feet from the floor
Not quite happy
But not quite sad
She wants to feel the ache in her bones
The hatred she has for herself
She wants that to come back
she doesn’t want to feel ok
Cause she’s not
Trying to make that decision
To walkout in the middle of the night
While her room mate sleeps
And to never come back
She’s ok right now
But she wants that sadness
The depression to fill her bones
She wishes she could pull the metaphorical trigger
And not live
Oh how she aches
To just want to not be ok anymore
Because when you’re not ok
You feel alive
Or at least she does
It’s terrible beast
She hates when she’s ok but hates when she’s sad
She just wishes she could not exist
That would be her ultimate goal
She types this in the dark as her roommate drifts off to sleep
I know cause that girl is me
mjad Aug 2019
Cat
i just realized that tonight might be my last
to spend in bed with my obese cat
purring under my arm
because now im an adult
and my life will move on
no more crying too
or talking and cuddling
and holding in front of a mirror
so she can see her reflection
no more petting or kissing
or waiting to scoop up when i come home
because now im an adult
and my life has to move on
and im moving out
a kiss on my finger
one last cuddle by my face
as she walks on my keyboard
as i type  this
accidentally hitting space
the saddest of goodbyes
that i'll ever have to face
true story
:(
Kristin Marie Nov 2018
I hate this feeling
This feeling I’m feeling is a feeling that’s not appealing
This feeling I’m feeling is way to unappealing I scream to god “why aren’t I healing?”
This feeling that’s revealing,
People see what I’ve been dealing with and It’s hard to express this feeling I’m feeling  better cover it up better start concealing it…
I can’t say a word though… to anyone about it …because if I do I’d cry,
I’m depressed and people ask me why I get high?
Because I feel college is getting dry
This isn’t what I expected, this is all a lie
The thoughts of me failing would only leave me mortified
Got me in my dorm thinking why should I even try?
Beating me up leaving me with this ugly black eye
And people got a nerve to ask me why I get high?
That’s why I get high
This is what college is about?
This is why I’d cry
Now a days I get so busy and overwhelmed I don’t even have time to admire the blue sky
I’m drained
This feeling I’m feeling make me lean to god more and more I pray I get some faith healing
Kneeling on my knees I pray for the answers I’ve been needing
The negative voices in my head are getting louder and louder
The words that my demon has been speaking can get a little much
I’m screaming I can’t bare to feel this feeling that I’m feeling
I’m stressed
But the cutie on the 8th floor got my back
Call him down for some ****** healing
After he’s gone I’m still left with this feeling that I’m feeling
I’m done
But I can’t be, people say have courage and I’m trying to
They say I’ll be right here for you
But this feeling I’m feeling is so unappealing I just don’t want to feel it anymore
This poem means so much to me. Because I'm in college, I often feel this feeling I describe in the poem almost everyday.  I often feel lost like what I'm doing isn't right and everything I'm doing is wrong. College is getting overwhelming for me and I needed to let what I've been feeling about it all out. I hope people can relate to this.
Jessica Jarvis Aug 2018
My room is looking emptier than it ever has before,
Got the clothes on my back; boxes are packed, sitting by the door.
Oh, how this is happening oh so soon feels like a dream,
But by the time the week is up, it’s me, my dorm, and the university.
8/22/18
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