Millay in Greenwich Village

Millay in Greenwich Village

Millay in Greenwich Village

Millay in Greenwich Village

Excerpt

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!

This quatrain, now embedded in the American consciousness, provides a glimpse into the colorful, rebellious personality of one of the most important poets of the twentieth century -- Edna St. Vincent Millay. We can almost envision the slender young woman reciting the poem, her green eyes sparkling and her long auburn hair quietly swishing. Edna Millay captured the freedom, spontaneity, quick wit, and beauty of the Pre- Twenties (1910-20) as no other poet did. She served as a living symbol of women who could live, think, and love as freely as they chose.

Scattered throughout Millay's life were an array of lovers, series of all-night parties in the Village and on the Left Bank, brief stays in jail for political protest, involvements in women's rights movements, moments of ecstasy at Beethoven concerts. But Millay also had her "nunlike" side. She spent endless hours, days, years searching for the perfect word to complete a poem; she suffered headaches and general poor . . .

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