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Restoring Edna St. Vincent Millay's garden

Edna St. Vincent Millay, photographed by Carl Van (via Wikipedia)

Steepletop today, Washington Post

The Washington Post has a nice story today on my favorite poet, Edna St. Vincent Millay. I think there are always those who want to restore her standing as a poet, but this story also talks about the restoration of her home in the last years of her life — Steepletop at Austerlitz, New York — and the restoration of her garden. The story also talks about how Millay’s love of, and knowledge of, nature greatly informed her poetry. Wouldn’t I love to have a cutting of something from Millay’s garden!

I have long believed that Millay wrote the best sonnets since Shakespeare.


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.
It well may be that in a difficult hour,
Pinned down by pain and moaning for release,
Or nagged by want past resolution’s power,
I might be driven to sell your love for peace,
Or trade the memory of this night for food.
It well may be. I do not think I would.

— Edna St. Vincent Millay

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