Lent: Looking for Silence












Do Americans work too hard?

Sonnet cxiii
If to be left were to be left alone,
And lock the door, and find one's self again,
Drag forth and dust Penates of one's own,
That in a corner all too long have lain;
Read Brahms, read Chaucer, set the chessmen out
In classic problem, stretch the shrunken mind
Back to its stature on the rack of thought--
Loss might be said to leave its boon behind.
But fruitless conversation and the exchange
With callow wits of bearded cons and pros
Enlist the neutral daylight, and derange
A will too sick to battle for repose.
Neither with you nor with myself, I spend
Loud days that have no meaning and no end.
--Edna St. Vincent Millay

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