Friday, February 22, 2008

Birthday Girl

My dear uncle just called me and happened to
mention that today was Edna St. Vincent Millay’s birthday.
Since she is one of my favorite poets, I have to squeeze in a
little blog on her tonight, while it is still her day. She was the
first woman to ever win the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1923.
Her poetry is absolutely dazzling. I read an excellent biography
on her a few years ago called Savage Beauty by Nancy Milford.
I also enjoy collecting vintage copies of her books of poetry.

Her best-known poem is probably "First Fig" from A Few Figs
From Thistles:

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!

Millay was born February 22, 1892. Happy Birthday Edna,
you were a lovely light!


  1. Your choice of Edna's poetry here has inspired me to live my life to the fullest, full speed ahead and let it shine in its time and space becoming all that I have been purposed to be. I need to read up on this Edna St. Vincent Millay. Sounds like she was a firecracker, full of life.
    Uncle Tom

  2. Yes, she was a very gutsy poet. You'll have to check her out!

  3. Hello again... glad you are enjoying wandering my Hermitage... in turn I am finding much to intrigue me here... love the old photographs of your forebears :)
    I have added you to my links and just seen that you have too :) thank you
    :) Rima

  4. Last month checked out a selection of Millay's "poetry for young people" and was intrigued to learn she had been named for St. Vincent's hospital in New York; her parents had been so grateful when the staff saved their son's life after he had nearly drowned. I'd always wondered about that name...

    I found one particular piece, about not accepting death, quite moving and strong. Can't remember the title!

  5. Yes, I love that poem! It's called Dirge Without Music...very powerful.

    I read that when she was a little girl, she insisted on being called Vincent!

    Thanks for your comments...always nice to know people are reading out there.

  6. Willow, Thanks for dropping by my blog and for your kind comments. And what a treat yours is, – with art, books, recipes and music. Your stone house in the winter landscape looks charming, but so cold!

  7. Hi Sharon, thanks for popping in and for your nice compliments.

    Yes, it IS cold out here...and more snow on the way tonight! Good night for staying in and blogging. :)


Inject a few raisins of conversation into the tasteless dough of existence.
― O. Henry (and me)