Can you please explain and analyse Sonnet 29 by Edna St. Vincent Millay?Pity me not because the light of dayAt close of day no longer walks the sky;Pity me not for beauties passed awayFrom field...

Can you please explain and analyse Sonnet 29 by Edna St. Vincent Millay?

Pity me not because the light of day
At close of day no longer walks the sky;
Pity me not for beauties passed away
From field and thicket as the the year goes by;
Pity me not the waning of the moon,
Nor that the ebbing tide goes out to sea,
Nor that a man's desire is hushed so soon,
And you no longer look with love on me.
This have I known always: Love is no more
Than the wide blossom which the wind assails,
Than the great tide that treads the shifting shore,
Strewing fresh wreckage gathered in the gales:
Pity me that the heart is slow to learn
What the swift mind beholds at ever turn.

Expert Answers
dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In a nutshell, the speaker is asking that she not be pitied for the natural things that happen in life that bring heartbreak. She only asks to be pitied because she feels pain when these things happen, even though she understands that they are inevitable.

In the first six lines of the sonnet, the speaker compares the passing of time and youth to things in the natural world that also pass away - the "light of day" ends at nightfall, the beauty of the "field and thicket" fades as spring turns to summer and summer to fall, the moon wanes each month until it is seen no more, and the tide goes out to the sea. All of these things are temporary, and they are things that she has learned to accept. In the next six lines, the speaker addresses human relationships, and in particular, a man who once loved her but loves her no more. The speaker understands that love is like "the wide blossom" which is knocked down by the wind, and like the tide that strews wreckage on the shore, the wreckage of her life, abandoned by love. The speaker understands, on a rational level, that all these passings are a part of life, and accepts them, at least with her mind. Her heart, however, still feels pain despite her understanding, and it is for this and this alone that she asks to be pitied.