Edna St. Vincent Millay

(22 February 1892 – 19 October 1950 / Rockland / Maine / United States)

Apostrophe To Man


(On reflecting that the world
is ready to go to war again)

Detestable race, continue to expunge yourself, die out.
Breed faster, crowd, encroach, sing hymns, build
bombing airplanes;
Make speeches, unveil statues, issue bonds, parade;
Convert again into explosives the bewildered ammonia
and the distracted cellulose;
Convert again into putrescent matter drawing flies
The hopeful bodies of the young; exhort,
Pray, pull long faces, be earnest,
be all but overcome, be photographed;
Confer, perfect your formulae, commercialize
Bacateria harmful to human tissue,
Put death on the market;
Breed, crowd, encroach,
expand, expunge yourself, die out,
Homo called sapiens.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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