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Contents:
  1. Poems for the Narrow (Straight or Bent)
  2. More by Edna St. Vincent Millay
  3. A Poem: Things that Bend
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  5. Home - A Bend in the Straight and Narrow

An enjoyable read set in 19th century that chronicles the life of a family who ranches in Post Civil War Florida. I appreciate that the author used information from her family's experience in writing the book. May 29, Rebecca Lloyd rated it liked it. This was a good read, especially since it is set in the general area where I live now. The story focused more on the family dynamics and less on the surroundings, though I was thinking it would be like "A Land Remembered"-not so. The story moved quickly and is an easy read. JustJean rated it it was amazing Dec 21, Sheilah Broughton rated it it was amazing Sep 06, Maryann rated it really liked it Jul 06, Apr 21, Patsy Birdwell rated it it was amazing.

Wonderful Reading! I could not put it down. From start to finish I was gripping the book and couldn't read fast enough. The family, trials and tribulations that Sally faces and conquers is Alan Bozman rated it it was amazing Jul 17, Apr 01, Donna Davis rated it really liked it.

The story of Sarah Henry's life from a poor farm girl in Tennessee, to a wealthy man's wife in Georgia,to her journey to Florida during the last years of the War Between the States, and her role in settling the Florida plains is particularly interesting to me because of my own family's role in settling Florida. That this book is based on family stories makes it much more than just another story.


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The character of Sarah Henry Sally reminds me of the women in my family. They endured many sorrows, The story of Sarah Henry's life from a poor farm girl in Tennessee, to a wealthy man's wife in Georgia,to her journey to Florida during the last years of the War Between the States, and her role in settling the Florida plains is particularly interesting to me because of my own family's role in settling Florida. They endured many sorrows, but they also experienced so much joy. And they did it with strength--physical and emotional.

Sally is plain-spoken, willing to work, and has common sense.


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  • Le veilleur infidèle (Blanche) (French Edition).
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However, Ms. Younger also captures the insecurity of an inadequate education and the embarrassment of feeling not up to some vague standard. Sally's perseverance which helps her come to love herself and her life is just one of the victories she attains in A Bend in the Straight and Narrow: A Woman's Journey into the Heart of the Florida Frontier The Florida geography is very familiar to me, and I think Ms. Younger captures just what a wild physical frontier Florida was to those first settlers in North Central Florida.

And she captures the beauty of Florida that is not often seen or understood by those who only think of Florida's beaches and theme parks. Of course, this part of Florida is mostly developed and those large cattle ranches are all but gone, but many of us remember before the development started. I give Ms. Younger a "thank you" for capturing a story that many of us multi-generational Floridians are able to relate to.

Noel Andress rated it liked it Aug 13, Susan Summers rated it really liked it Apr 03, Apr 02, Beverly Hanners rated it it was amazing. What I saw Was Adlestrop—only the name. And willows, willow-herb, and grass, And meadowsweet, and haycocks dry, No whit less still and lonely fair Than the high cloudlets in the sky. The green roads that end in the forest Are strewn with white goose feathers this June,. Like marks left behind by some one gone to the forest To show his track. But he has never come back. Down each green road a cottage looks at the forest.

Round one the nettle towers; two are bathed in flowers. An old man along the green road to the forest Strays from one, from another a child alone.

Poems for the Narrow (Straight or Bent)

It is old, but the trees are young in the forest, All but one like a castle keep, in the middle deep. That oak saw the ages pass in the forest: They were a host, but their memories are lost,. For the tree is dead: all things forget the forest Excepting perhaps me, when now I see. The old man, the child, the goose feathers at the edge of the forest, And hear all day long the thrush repeat his song.

The sun blazed while the thunder yet Added a boom: A wagtail flickered bright over The mill-pond's gloom:. Less than the cooing in the alder Isles of the pool Sounded the. Scared starlings on the aspen tip Past the black mill Outchattered the stream and the next roar Far on the hill.

As my feet dangling teased the foam That slid below A girl came out. She startled me, standing quite close Dressed all in white: Ages ago I was angry till She passed from sight. Then the storm burst, and as I crouched To shelter, how Beautiful and kind, too, she seemed, As she does now! It was upon a July evening. At a stile I stood, looking along a path Over the country by a second Spring Drenched perfect green again.

Albeit I stood at rest, Flushed with desire I was. The earth outspread, Like meadows of the future, I possessed. And as an unaccomplished prophecy The stranger's words, after the interval Of a score years, when those fields are by me Never to be recrossed, now I recall, This July eve, and question, wondering, What of the lattermath to this hoar Spring? Tall nettles cover up, as they have done These many springs, the rusty harrow, the plough Long worn out, and the roller made of stone: Only the elm butt tops the nettles now.

This corner of the farmyard I like most: As well as any bloom upon a flower I like the dust on the nettles, never lost Except to prove the sweetness of a shower. After night's thunder far away had rolled The fiery day had a kernel sweet of cold, And in the perfect blue the clouds uncurled, Like the first gods before they made the world And misery, swimming the stormless sea In beauty and in divine gaiety. The smooth white empty road was lightly strewn With leaves—the holly's Autumn falls in June— And fir cones standing stiff up in the heat.

The mill-foot water tumbled white and lit With tossing crystals, happier than any crowd Of children pouring out of school aloud.

Poems for the Narrow (Straight or Bent)

And in the little thickets where a sleeper For ever might lie lost, the nettle-creeper And garden warbler sang unceasingly; While over them shrill shrieked in his fierce glee The swift with wings and tail as sharp and narrow As if the bow had flown off with the arrow. Only the scent of woodbine and hay new-mown Travelled the road. In the field sloping down, Park-like, to where its willows showed the brook, Haymakers rested. The tosser lay forsook Out in the sun; and the long waggon stood Without its team, it seemed it never would Move from the shadow of that single yew.

The men leaned on their rakes, about to begin, But still. And all were silent. All was old, This morning time, with a great age untold, Older than Clare and Cobbett, Morland and Crome, Than, at the field's far edge, the farmer's home, A white house crouched at the foot of a great tree. Under the heavens that know not what years be The men, the beasts, the trees, the implements Uttered even what they will in times far hence— All of us gone out of the reach of change— Immortal in a picture of an old grange.

The same year after year— But with the swift alone. Not memorable Save that I saw them go, As past the empty quays The rivers flow. And now again, In the harvest rain, The Blenheim oranges Fall grubby from the trees,. As when I was young— And when the lost one was here— And when the war began To turn young men to dung. Look at the old house, Outmoded, dignified, Dark and untenanted, With grass growing instead. Of the footsteps of life, The friendliness, the strife; In its beds have lain Youth, love, age and pain:.

I am something like that: Not one pane to reflect the sun, For the schoolboys to throw at— They have broken every one. The sun used to shine while we two walked Slowly together, paused and started Again, and sometimes mused, sometimes talked As either pleased, and cheerfully parted. Each night. We never disagreed Which gate to rest on.

The to be And the late past we gave small heed. We turned from men or poetry. To rumours of the war remote Only till both stood disinclined For aught but the yellow flavorous coat Of an apple wasps had undermined;. Or a sentry of dark betonies, The stateliest of small flowers on earth, At the forest verge; or crocuses Pale purple as if they had their birth. The war Came back to mind with the moonrise Which soldiers in the east afar Beheld then.

Nevertheless, our eyes. Everything To faintness like those rumours fades— Like the brook's water glittering. Under the moonlight—like those walks Now—like us two that took them, and The fallen apples, all the talks And silences—like memory's sand. When the tide covers it late or soon, And other men through other flowers In those fields under the same moon Go talking and have easy hours. The green elm with the one great bough of gold Lets leaves into the grass slip, one by one,— The short hill grass, the mushrooms small milk-white, Harebell and scabious and tormentil, That blackberry and gorse, in dew and sun, Bow down to; and the wind travels too light To shake the fallen birch leaves from the fern; The gossamers wander at their own will.

At heavier steps than birds' the squirrels scold. But if this be not happiness,—who knows? Some day I shall think this a happy day, And this mood by the name of melancholy Shall no more blackened and obscured be. The long small room that showed willows in the west Narrowed up to the end the fireplace filled, Although not wide.

I liked it. No one guessed What need or accident made them so build. Only the moon, the mouse and the sparrow peeped In from the ivy round the casement thick. Of all they saw and heard there they shall keep The tale for the old ivy and older brick. When I look back I am like moon, sparrow and mouse That witnessed what they could never understand Or alter or prevent in the dark house. One thing remains the same—this my right hand. Crawling crab-like over the clean white page, Resting awhile each morning on the pillow, Then once more starting to crawl on towards age.

The hundred last leaves stream upon the willow. The last light has gone out of the world, except This moonlight lying on the grass like frost Beyond the brink of the tall elm's shadow It is as if everything else had slept Many an age, unforgotten and lost The men that were, the things done, long ago, All I have thought; and but the moon and I Live yet and here stand idle over the grave Where all is buried. Both have liberty To dream what we could do if we were free To do some thing we had desired long, The moon and I.

There's none less free than who Does nothing and has nothing else to do, Being free only for what is not to his mind, And nothing is to his mind. If every hour Like this one passing that I have spent among The wiser others when I have forgot To wonder whether I was free or not, Were piled before me, and not lost behind, And I could take and carry them away I should be rich; or if I had the power To wipe out every one and not again Regret, I should be rich to be so poor. And yet I still am half in love with pain, With what is imperfect, with both tears and mirth, With things that have an end, with life and earth, And this moon that leaves me dark within the door.

November's days are thirty: November's earth is dirty, Those thirty days, from first to last; And the prettiest things on ground are the paths With morning and evening hobnails dinted, With foot and wing-tip overprinted Or separately charactered, Of little beast and little bird. The fields are mashed by sheep, the roads Make the worst going, the best the woods Where dead leaves upward and downward scatter. Few care for the mixture of earth and water, Twig, leaf, flint, thorn, Straw, feather, all that men scorn, Pounded up and sodden by flood, Condemned as mud.

But of all the months when earth is greener Not one has clean skies that are cleaner. Clean and clear and sweet and cold, They shine above the earth so old, While the after-tempest cloud Sails over in silence though winds are loud, Till the full moon in the east Looks at the planet in the west And earth is silent as it is black, Yet not unhappy for its lack. It stands alone Up in a land of stone All worn like ancient stairs, A land of rocks and trees Nourished on wind and stone. And all within Long delicate has been; By arts and kindliness Coloured, sweetened, and warmed For many years has been.

Safe resting there Men hear in the travelling air But music, pictures see In the same daily land Painted by the wild air. One maker's mind Made both, and the house is kind To the land that gave it peace, And the stone has taken the house To its cold heart and is kind. There was a weasel lived in the sun With all his family, Till a keeper shot him with his gun And hung him up on a tree, Where he swings in the wind and rain, In the sun and in the snow, Without pleasure, without pain, On the dead oak tree bough.

There was a crow who was no sleeper, But a thief and a murderer Till a very late hour; and this keeper Made him one of the things that were, To hang and flap in rain and wind, In the sun and in the snow. There are no more sins to be sinned On the dead oak tree bough. There was a magpie, too, Had a long tongue and a long tail; He could both talk and do— But what did that avail?

He, too, flaps in the wind and rain Alongside weasel and crow, Without pleasure, without pain, On the dead oak tree bough. The summer nests uncovered by autumn wind. Some torn, others dislodged, all dark. Everyone sees them: low or high in tree, Or hedge, or single bush, they hang like a mark. Since there's no need of eyes to see them with I cannot help a little shame That I missed most, even at eye's level, till The leaves blew off and made the seeing no game.

I like to see the nests Still in their places, now first known, At home and by far roads. Boys knew them not, Whatever jays and squirrels may have done. And most I like the winter nests deep-hid That leaves and berries fell into: Once a dormouse dined there on hazel-nuts, And grass and goose-grass seeds found soil and grew. Blessed are the dead that the rain rains upon: But here I pray that none whom once I loved Is dying to-night or lying still awake Solitary, listening to the rain, Either in pain or thus in sympathy Helpless among the living and the dead, Like a cold water among broken reeds, Myriads of broken reeds all still and stiff, Like me who have no love which this wild rain Has not dissolved except the love of death, If love it be towards what is perfect and Cannot, the tempest tells me, disappoint.

Fair was the morning, fair our tempers, and We had seen nothing fairer than that land, Though strange, and the untrodden snow that made Wild of the tame, casting out all that was Not wild and rustic and old; and we were glad. Fair, too, was afternoon, and first to pass Were we that league of snow, next the north wind.

There was nothing to return for, except need, And yet we sang nor ever stopped for speed, As we did often with the start behind. Faster still strode we when we came in sight Of the cold roofs where we must spend the night. Happy we had not been there, nor could be, Though we had tasted sleep and food and fellowship Together long. The word "home" raised a smile in us all three, And one repeated it, smiling just so That all knew what he meant and none would say. Between three counties far apart that lay We were divided and looked strangely each At the other, and we knew we were not friends But fellows in a union that ends With the necessity for it, as it ought.

Never a word was spoken, not a thought Was thought, of what the look meant with the word "Home" as we walked and watched the sunset blurred. And then to me the word, only the word, "Homesick," as it were playfully occurred: No more. The south wall warms me: November has begun, Yet never shone the sun as fair as now While the sweet last-left damsons from the bough With spangles of the morning's storm drop down Because the starling shakes it, whistling what Once swallows sang.

No day of any month but I have said— Or, if I could live long enough, should say— "There's nothing like the sun that shines to-day". There's nothing like the sun till we are dead. When he should laugh the wise man knows full well: For he knows what is truly laughable.

More by Edna St. Vincent Millay

But wiser is the man who laughs also, Or holds his laughter, when the foolish do. The sun set, the wind fell, the sea Was like a mirror shaking: The one small wave that clapped the land A mile-long snake of foam was making Where tide had smoothed and wind had dried The vacant sand. I walked elate, my bridge always Just one step from my feet: A robin sang, a shade in shade: And all I did was to repeat: "I'll go no more a-roving With you, fair maid.

The sailors' song of merry loving With dusk and sea-gull's mewing Mixed sweet, the lewdness far outweighed By the wild charm the chorus played: "I'll go no more a-roving With you, fair maid: A-roving, a-roving, since roving's been my ruin, I'll go no more a-roving with you, fair maid. In Amsterdam there dwelt a maid— Mark well what I do say— In Amsterdam there dwelt a maid And she was a mistress of her trade: I'll go no more a-roving With you, fair maid: A-roving, a-roving, since roving's been my ruin, I'll go no more a-roving with you, fair maid.

The new moon hangs like an ivory bugle In the naked frosty blue; And the ghylls of the forest, already blackened By Winter, are blackened anew. The brooks that cut up and increase the forest, As if they had never known The sun, are roaring with black hollow voices Betwixt rage and a moan. But still the caravan-hut by the hollies Like a kingfisher gleams between: Round the mossed old hearths of the charcoal-burners First primroses ask to be seen. The charcoal-burners are black, but their linen Blows white on the line; And white the letter the girl is reading Under that crescent fine;.

And her brother who hides apart in a thicket, Slowly and surely playing On a whistle an olden nursery melody, Says far more than I am saying. I have come to the borders of sleep, The unfathomable deep Forest where all must lose Their way, however straight, Or winding, soon or late; They cannot choose.

Here love ends, Despair, ambition ends, All pleasure and all trouble, Although most sweet or bitter, Here ends in sleep that is sweeter Than tasks most noble. There is not any book Or face of dearest look That I would not turn from now To go into the unknown I must enter and leave alone I know not how. The tall forest towers; Its cloudy foliage lowers Ahead, shelf above shelf; Its silence I hear and obey That I may lose my way And myself. Out of the wood of thoughts that grows by night To be cut down by the sharp axe of light,— Out of the night, two cocks together crow, Cleaving the darkness with a silver blow: And bright before my eyes twin trumpeters stand, Heralds of splendour, one at either hand, Each facing each as in a coat of arms: The milkers lace their boots up at the farms.

I know you: You are light as dreams, Tough as oak, Precious as gold, As poppies and corn, Or an old cloak: Sweet as our birds To the ear, As the burnet rose. This work was published before January 1, , and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least years ago.

A Poem: Things that Bend

For works with similar titles, see Poems. TO Robert Frost. The Sign-post. Two Pewits. The Manor Farm. The Owl. As the team's head-brass. Like the touch of rain. The Path. The Combe. If I should ever by chance. What shall I give? If I were to own. And you, Helen. When first. Head and Bottle.

Scratch & Dent Dreams--Slam Poetry

After you speak. When we two walked. In Memoriam. Fifty Faggots. Women he liked. Early one morning. Cherry Trees. It rains. The Huxter.

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A Gentleman. The Bridge. Bright Clouds. The clouds that are so light. Some eyes condemn. May The Glory. The Green Roads. The Mill-pond. It was upon. Tall Nettles. How at once. Gone, gone again. The sun used to shine. The long small room. Denise Thompson-Slaughter. Spirit Casing. Thomas M. Things That I Carry. William Naylor. Elsha Hawk. A Step Through Life. Thomas Boa-Amponsem.

Angela Nunez. Poems of a Troubled Soul. Kiah Bradford. No Words Just News. Peter Jacob Streitz. Almost Heaven. Michael E. Visible Heavens. Joanna Solfrian. Find Time To Rhyme. TG Within. Aaron Poochigian. Billy Collins. Jane Austen, The Poetry Of. Jane Austen.

The Wrong Cat. Lorna Crozier. The Smiling Rose. Eddie Chike Orah. Manuela Cardiga. Kerouc Dreams, Kerouac Visions. The Collected Poems of Amy Clampitt.


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Amy Clampitt. Sunrays, Moonbeams, and Sandstorms.

Home - A Bend in the Straight and Narrow

Mary Elizabeth Whitfield. Ryan Stabile. Goes Around, Comes Around. Allen Itz. Brittany Wyatt. Streets: Collected Poems. Mavis J. American Classics. Frank William Ligety. Other Cruel Things. Ray Succre. To the young dreamer. Iyanna best. My Poems Uersus Mihi. Brian Montgomery. Jeffrey V. Treasures in Earthen Vessels. Joyce Robinson. Jeffery Donaldson. Thomas Duder. Bianca Bowers.