Rising to prominence in The Roaring Twenties, an era that saw the emergence of writers such as F. Scott Fitzgerald, William Faulkner, Gertrude Stein, Flannery O'Connor, and Langston Hughes courtesy of The Modernism Movement and the Harlem Renaissance, Edna St. Vincent Millay, through a voice that echoed of introspective grace, solemn longing, and spellbinding pulchritude, left an everlasting mark on a crowded American Literary Scene through her subtle, yet unparalleled craft for poetry.
Becoming just the third women to win the Pulitzer Prize for her work in 1923, St. Vincent Millay is revered by scholars, critics, and writers -- established and aspiring -- as one of the finest poets of her time, with two-time Pulitzer winning poet Richard Wilbur praising her sonnets as "... some of the best sonnets of the century." Here are five of the most breathtaking lines delivered by a true virtuoso of rhyme and versification:
"My heart is warm with the 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."
While we may happen upon people that might become lifelong friends, long is not the life we are given for people to happen upon us, even as we may happen in none any further.
"Where you used to be, there is a hole in the world, which I find myself constantly walking around in the daytime, and falling in at night. I miss you like hell."
Loss of those we love can drive us even more than when one is present to reciprocate it. A love that can drive us in circles. Through day and night. Until ours and our love is no more.
"I know I am but summer to your heart, And not the full four seasons of the year."
When we long for one through love, it is oftentimes such love causes us to see the apple of our affections through a lens bound to a singular, fixated idea. Preventing us from acknowledging ones multiple facets from which personality springs. A personality as beautiful, as lovely to be worthy of love.
"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!"
Although night comes for all that is bright and beautiful, the bright and the beautiful does not have to melt away. Not when its light and splendor are seared into memory.
"Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely."
It is the duty of those with knowledge and love to give, to venture forth into the shadows, and bring into the light -- a length and depth. Of knowledge and of love yet unexplored. Unsought.
Although Edna St. Millay and her voice -- echoing of love for that is beautiful, and the beauty that has been the sum for that has been loved -- have long since ventured into a night for which beyond, a love and beauty less finite dwells, remain her poems, her words -- notes from which much love and beauty echoes. In a world that draws ever near a darker night, only to be met by something brighter. More beautiful. Even if it may not yet be dawn.
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