People that build their houses inland,
People that buy a plot of ground
Shaped like a house, and build a house there,
Far from the sea-board, far from the sound
Of water sucking the hollow ledges,
Tons of water striking the shore,--
What do they long for, as I long for
One salt smell of the sea once more?
People the waves have not awakened,
Spanking the boats at the harbour's head,
What do they long for, as I long for,--
Starting up in my inland bed,
Beating the narrow walls, and finding
Neither a window nor a door,
Screaming to God for death by drowning,--
One salt taste of the sea once more?
Edna St. Vincent Millay was born in Rockland, Maine, on February 22, 1892. She produced a large body of writing, including some of the best-known sonnets of the twentieth century, while pursuing a Bohemian lifestyle in New York City's Greenwich Village. Millay died in 1950.