Monday, February 22, 2010

Edna St Vincent Millay

It's the birthday of the woman who wrote "My candle burns at both ends;
/ It will not last the night; / But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends — / It gives a lovely light!"
Edna St. Vincent Millay the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for poetry, was born on this day in 1892 in Rockland, Maine. After being educated at Vassar, she moved to Greenwich Village and lived a Jazz Age Bohemian life, which revolved around poetry and love affairs. She was beautiful and alluring and many men and women fell in love with her. Critic Edmund Wilson asked her to marry him. She said no. He later reflected that falling in love with her "was so common an experience, so almost inevitable a consequence of knowing her in those days."She wrote: "Safe upon the solid rock the ugly houses stand: / Come and see my shining palace built upon the sand!"
Ashes of Life

Love has gone and left me and the days are all alike;
  Eat I must, and sleep I will, -- and would that night were here!
But ah! -- to lie awake and hear the slow hours strike!
  Would that it were day again! -- with twilight near!

Love has gone and left me and I don't know what to do;
  This or that or what you will is all the same to me;
But all the things that I begin I leave before I'm through, --
  There's little use in anything as far as I can see.

Love has gone and left me, -- and the neighbors knock and borrow,
  And life goes on forever like the gnawing of a mouse, --
And to-morrow and to-morrow and to-morrow and to-morrow
  There's this little street and this little house.

2 comments:

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