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Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892 – 1950)


American lyrical poet and playwright and the first woman to receive the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.
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Edna St. Vincent Millay
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 quotes
Euclid alone has looked on Beauty bare.
Let all who prate of Beauty hold their peace,
And lay them prone upon the earth and cease
To ponder on themselves, the while they stare
At nothing.
Millay
The only people I really hate are servants. They are not really human beings at all. As attributed without citation in At Home by Bill Bryson, Chapter V, "The Scullery and the Larder" p.111




Millay Edna St. Vincent quotes
My heart is warm with friends I make,
   And better friends I'll not be knowing,
Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,
   No matter where it's going.
Millay Edna St. Vincent
It is not true that life is one damn thing after another. It's the same dang thing over and over again.
Edna St. Vincent Millay quotes
Safe upon the solid rock the ugly houses stand;
Come and see my shining palace built upon the sand!
Edna St. Vincent Millay
It's little I know what's in my heart,
What's in my mind it's little I know,
But there's that in me must up and start,
And it's little I care where my feet go.
Millay Edna St. Vincent quotes
But you are mobile as the veering air,
And all your charms more changeful than the tide,
Wherefore to be inconstant is no care:
I have but to continue at your side.
So wanton, light and false, my love, are you,
I am most faithless when I most am true.
Millay
Many a bard's untimely death
Lends unto his verses breath;
Here's a song was never sung:
Growing old is dying young.
Millay Edna St. Vincent
"One thing there's no getting by—
I've been a wicked girl." said I;
"But if I can't be sorry, why,
   I might as well be glad!"
Edna St. Vincent Millay
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.




Edna St. Vincent Millay quotes
The world stands out on either side
No wider than the heart is wide;
Above the world is stretched the sky, —
No higher than the soul is high.
The heart can push the sea and land
Farther away on either hand;
The soul can split the sky in two,
And let the face of God shine through.
But East and West will pinch the heart
That can not keep them pushed apart;
And he whose soul is flat — the sky
Will cave in on him by and by.
Edna St. Vincent Millay
After all, my earstwhile dear,
   My no longer cherished,
Need we say it was not love,
   Now that love is perished?
Millay quotes
Childhood is not from birth to a certain age and at a certain age
The child is grown, and puts away childish things.
Childhood is the kingdom where nobody dies.
Millay Edna St. Vincent
Love is not all: it is not meat nor drink
Nor slumber nor a roof against the rain;
Nor yet a floating spar to men that sink
And rise and sink and rise and sink again;
Love can not fill the thickened lung with breath,
Nor clean the blood, nor set the fractured bone;
Yet many a man is making friends with death
Even as I speak, for lack of love alone.
Millay Edna St. Vincent quotes
But, sure, the sky is big, I said;
Miles and miles above my head;
So here upon my back I'll lie
And look my fill into the sky.
And so I looked, and, after all,
The sky was not so very tall.
The sky, I said, must somewhere stop,
And — sure enough! — I see the top!
The sky, I thought, is not so grand;
I 'most could touch it with my hand!
And reaching up my hand to try,
I screamed to feel it touch the sky.
Edna St. Vincent Millay
... one damn thing after another ... one damn thing over and over.
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