Monday, April 7, 2008

Edna St. Vincent Millay - more than that Naughty Flapper

She's probably best known for "First Fig" and "Second Fig." Who can resist delighting in burning a candle at both ends? Or taunting the careful architects of builders on on rock when your castle is much more thrilling - though short-lived? She became much more varied in her subject matter later in life. She wrote about the Sacco-Vanzetti case and later wrote anti-fascist propaganda poetry that is often left out of collections. Here's a fantastic 1992 review/biography from the New York Times by one of SUNY Binghamton's professors, Liz Rosenberg . (Sorry, it's Binghamton University now. Tough to get used to.)

I chose an excerpt from "New England Spring, 1942" in honor of today's weather. It's from her posthumous collection Mine the Harvest. Read the entire poem here.

from "New England Spring, 1942"

But Spring is wise. Pale and with gentle eyes, one day some-
what she advances;
The next, with a flurry of snow into flake-filled skies retreats
before the heat in our eyes, and the thing designed
By the sick and longing mind in its lonely fancies---
The sally which would force her and take her.
And Spring is kind.
Should she come running headlong in a wind-whipped acre
Of daffodil skirts down the mountain into this dark valley we
would go blind.

1 comment:

Lindsay said...

Edna St. Vincent Millay is my all-time FAVORITE poet. I devour just about anything written by her. Thanks for posting one of her poems!