Edna St. Vincent Millay
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  • Only until this cigarette is ended,
  • A little moment at the end of all,
  • While on the floor the quiet ashes fall,
  • And in the firelight to a lance extended,
  • Bizarrely with the jazzing music blended,
  • The broken shadow dances on the wall,
  • I will permit my memory to recall
  • The vision of you, by all my dreams attended.
  • And then adieu, — farewell! — the dream is done.
  • Yours is a face of which I can forget
  • The color and the features, every one,
  • The words not ever, and the smiles not yet;
  • But in your day this moment is the sun
  • Upon a hill, after the sun has set.


Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892–1950) was born in Rockland, Maine. She attended Vassar College and upon graduation moved to Greenwich Village. In 1917, she published
Renascence and Other Poems; in 1920, A Few Figs from Thistles; and in 1921, Second April, from which this sonnet is taken. Two years later, in 1923, when she was just 31 years old, Millay published The Harp Weaver and Other Poems, which won the Pulitzer Prize. A master of rhymed, metrical forms and a superb sonneteer, Millay wrote a poetry that was at once witty, perceptive, passionate, and exquisitely wrought. Beautiful and bisexual, she had many lovers both before and during her marriage to Eugen Jan Boissevain. Millay’s brilliant achievements in strict form place her in the first ranks of 20th-century American poets; in a period when many of the high modernists are read only in university classrooms, Millay’s poetry remains widely read and admired.

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Comments

nan shartel March 7, 2012 @ 9:24 p.m.

now this is a poem to be read...reread...mentally fondled and absorbed...in one hurried wordy swallow

Edna...u sure as frick had it all gonin' on poetrywise...kudos!!!

nan u know u shouldn't talk about Edna like that...lol!!

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Twister March 8, 2012 @ 9:06 a.m.

Mil-lay, I suspect, lived up to her name too, as did LoVer-ne, who heard her recite. And, of course, Anin. Never to be replaced, these . . . nor should they. But that surrender-to-self quality is available to anybody.

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nan shartel March 8, 2012 @ 12:46 p.m.

did u mean Anais Nin Twister???

yes all can surrender...but so many are afraid of that word...surrender...not realizing to do so opens the gate to the path to personal realization and ecstasy

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Twister March 8, 2012 @ 3:04 p.m.

Contractions like that may be inexcusable, even for a twister. Maybe some subconscious tendency akin to J-Lo (or however ye spel that).

Now there's this book about gray something . . .

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Iolanda Scripca March 9, 2012 @ 2 a.m.

Too bad, we, poets, make readers stop and take us seriously only post-mortem...when we have nothing else to say...www.scripca.com

1

nan shartel March 9, 2012 @ 10:57 a.m.

somewhat agreed iolanda ...but living poets are well read here at the Readers blogs...come read ours and post some of your own

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Iolanda Scripca March 27, 2012 @ 1 a.m.

I will but where? I did not know there is a Reader's Blog...

1

Twister March 12, 2012 @ 4:21 p.m.

Millay read her stuff to large audiences; she was not only alive, she was A L I V E! (At least her writing was.) And, I suspect, HOT. (At least her writing was.)

Read her stuff over and over and cast your pearls before us swine like she did.

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nan shartel March 21, 2012 @ 12:38 p.m.

gawd dog i love u twister...hahahahahahahaha...u never back away from the sardonic remark by some wanna be who is 2 good 4 our small poetic pond here at the Reader

USING MILLAY AS A REFERENCE POINT I COULD SWOOP U UP AND FONDLED UR VERBS FOR THEIR CLARITY!!! ;-P)

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