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About Poets - Edna St. Vincent Millay

I think those who write poetry feel with their senses more deeply than most.

Yes, I know, that is an obvious understatement.

Edna St. Vincent Millay was a poet - she won the Pulitzer Prize and was also known for her feminist activism and her many love affairs. She lived during the period of February 22, 1892 – October 19, 1950, went to Vassar, spent her adult life in New York City and was openly bisexual.

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As luck would have it, however, in an unlucky way as it sometimes happens Millay won fame by losing. After placing fourth in a poetry contest with her poem Renascence she gained attention by the controversy and was noticed by Caroline B. Dow who offered to pay for her education at Vassar.

Edna St. Vincent Millay

Edna St. Vincent Millay

After her death at the age of 58, the poet Mary Oliver, age 17, visited Steepletop Millay's home and eventually lived there for seven years and helped to organize Millay's papers. Mary Oliver herself went on to become a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, greatly inspired by Millay's work.

"Beauty is whatever gives joy." - Edna St. Vincent Millay
Edna St. Vincent Millay

Edna St. Vincent Millay

First Fig

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 like a rock star, the Madonna of her time. She went on poetry tours and read on the radio.  "First Fig" became a sort of chant for the flappers of the ’20s and she was an idol of the younger generation during the glorious early days of Greenwich Village.

I can't think of one poet who the younger generation reads - maybe it's the lyrics of music these days, like Mumford and Sons, Connor Oberst and such.

I'm all for bringing on the poets...and quietly listening to the words, without devices.

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