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Afternoon on a Hill

Edna St. Vincent Millay wrote this beautiful poem which reminded me about how the greatest things are sometimes about those things which touch us, but we do not necessarily touch them. The world greets us in the form of the sun, flowers, its geology, sky, etc. We sense these things in the fullest way. They reach into us and touch us deeply in a spiritual way.

When we are present in the world, it makes the world come alive, we only need to sit, and it makes us feel fully we are part of it and not outside it.

I will be the gladdest thing

   Under the sun!

I will touch a hundred flowers

   And not pick one.

I will look at cliffs and clouds

   With quiet eyes,

Watch the wind bow down the grass,

   And the grass rise.

And when lights begin to show

   Up from the town,

I will mark which must be mine,

   And then start down!


About ivonprefontaine

I completed a PhD at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA. Previously, I taught for 20 years and taught for 15 years in a wonderful hybrid school. My dissertation topic and research were how certain teachers experience becoming who teachers. In teaching and leanring, I am a boundary-crosser who understands moving ahead is a leap of faith. Teaching is a calling and vocation to express who I am as a person. Currently, I am waiting and listening to what calls me next. I am an educator, phenomenologist, scholar, boundary-crosser, published poet, author, parent, grandparent, and spouse.

23 responses »

  1. That is a lovely and delicate poem.

  2. Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:


  4. Thank you for posting this. Lovely reminder:)

  5. merci, Yvon! Edna St. Vincent Millay and Emily Dickinson are my beloved/favourite American poets… bon journée et une fin de semaine formidable! amicalement, Mélanie

  6. What a beautiful poem.. And a lovely reminder to appreciate the nature around me.

  7. What a delightful poem, Ivon; I went traveling with him.

  8. Its a great poem Ivon … but the words that real stick with me today are yours:
    “When we are present in the world, it makes the world come alive, we only need to sit, and it makes us feel fully we are part of it and not outside it.”
    Thank you!

  9. Such a great poet and poem! You did a great job of introducing this and giving us an uplifting message! I look back at so many posts, where I did not comment and apologize. Your posts have meaning and light! Smiles, Robin


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