Edna St Vincent Millay lights a candle
On this day in 1892 the American lyrical poet Edna St. Vincent Millay was born. Raised in rural Maine, Millay moved to New York City after graduating from Vassar.
Openly bisexual, she lived for some years a life of parties and pleasure, giving rise to her famous verse:
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!
Her poetry is about love and relationships and often has a sad tone combined with powerful imagery.
Here is my all time favourite, Sonnet XLIII:
What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why,
I have forgotten, and what arms have lain
Under my head till morning; but the rain
Is full of ghosts tonight, that tap and sigh
Upon the glass and listen for reply,
And in my heart there stirs a quiet pain
For unremembered lads that not again
Will turn to me at midnight with a cry.
Thus in the winter stands the lonely tree,
Nor knows what birds have vanished one by one,
Yet knows its boughs more silent than before:
I cannot say what loves have come and gone,
I only know that summer sang in me
A little while, that in me sings no more.
Today I will try to appreciate the little things in life.