Night of the Notables – Edna St. Vincent Millay

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“I am glad that I paid so little attention to good advice; had I abided by it I might have been saved from some of my most valuable mistakes.” 

-Edna St. Vincent Millay (source)

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Growing up in the 1900s, it wasn’t easy for a creative mind like Edna to flourish. Being a woman, so free spoken, wasn’t easy. She was a poet, who conveyed her thoughts bluntly and with no remorse. She wrote sonnets on love, death, life, and everything in between, and met black lash from critics who thought her writing was too rash. Edna grew up without a father, but nonetheless her mother still guided her busy mind into a field of art that eventually helped Edna make her living.

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I had been drawn to Edna’s poetry through finding her writing during my ZIP passion project last year. I was doing research on different poetry genres, and had stumbled across her work. From that moment on, I was immediately inspired. I wanted to absorb more. Then, after doing this eminent project, I realized how much of an influence she truly had on the poetry community during her time during the early 1900s (around World War I and II). But ultimately, she was forgotten among the names we recognize today as being the greatest writers of all time.

This is the poem I composed, inspired by her poem called “Elegy Before Death”.

 

I remember every muffled word said 

to me, those syllables lost forever 

in the haze now, do you remember that? 

Will it be the same when your fingers graze 

The cold dead skin pulled taut around my drum, 

Or have you forgotten the wretched dove 

I so desperately tend to ache for?
 

I remember her in memory clear 

as day, how her eyes sought adventure thrill 

wandering through the ocean of bodies 

fixed on curious space, questions, nothing 

answered, Do you remember the sweet tears 

Of her youth yet not weathering her  

spirit? oh, how the raven of her soul flew  

too far for my faltering reminisce
 

I remember the striking silence of 

My thoughts back then, but now the white slate has 

me in the comfort cradle of its arms 

Quiet bliss hoisting me to the upward 

sky, Living numb inflates my punctured lungs  

and blank memory saves the sharp breaths of 

pain, Finally I will be free of your 

torment, so please do not remember me 

 

A couple of her other works that I enjoy:

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Edna will always be an inspiration to me, as being a strong woman, who never backed down from presenting life through her works as it is. She lived her life passionately until her death. She was renowned across America, until history swiped her off of the face of talented poets. Perhaps you will find inspiration and empowerment through her as well! Any questions are welcome and thank you for viewing my learning center!

One thought on “Night of the Notables – Edna St. Vincent Millay

  1. Anya! I’d love to read a poem by you inspired by your love of St Vincent Millay’s work. Have a terrific break!

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