Illustrated Thursday – Moriturus, stanzas XXV-XXVII – Millay

MoriturusXXV-XXVIIWe have reached the tipping point in Moriturus – the point where Millay begins to distinguish between what we tell ourselves about death and what we actually do when we face it. I had to look up “liever” – I was not familiar with that word. It means “preferable” or “rather.” I invite you to go back over the illustrations of the stanzas we have spent time with: I-III, IV-VI, VII-IXX-XIIXIII-XVXVI-XVIII, XIX-XXI, and XXII-XXIV. The whole poem can be found here. Drawing (marker on paper) and composition by me.


  1. I don’t think I’ve said so yet, but this exploration is near to my heart. I’ve loved Millay’s poetry since I first read “Renascence” in a collection of my grandfather’s — I must have been nine or so, and I still have verses from it drop into my head randomly, especially in the spring (like “a miracle of orchard-breath”). “Moriturus” was wasted on me for years, but as time passes I enjoy it more, and I’d liever drag my feet as well!


    1. Same here – I shied away from Moriturus for years too – it was longish and had a strange title – but when I revisited it a few months ago I found myself captivated by rhythm and imagery. Millay was such a master of striking imagery. I have been at work and had the phrase “The hinge of the lid/ Of the spider’s eye/At the spider’s birth?” pop into my head.

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