A Celebration of Women Writers

"Inland" by Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950)
From Millay, Edna St. Vincent. Second April   New York: Mitchell Kennerley, 1921. pp. 49-50.

[Page 49] 


PEOPLE that build their houses inland,
  People that buy a plot of ground
Shaped like a house, and build a house there,
  Far from the sea-board, far from the sound

Of water sucking the hollow ledges,
  Tons of water striking the shore,
What do they long for, as I long for
  One salt smell of the sea once more?

People the waves have not awakened,
  Spanking the boats at the harbor's head,
What do they long for, as I long for,
  Starting up in my inland bed,

[Page 50] 

Beating the narrow walls, and finding
  Neither a window nor a door,
Screaming to God for death by drowning,
  One salt taste of the sea once more?

[Page 51]

Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom