by T. A. Fry
Never was your singular voice contrived.
Nor the passion that shaped it. Like your art,
No more separable from your racing heart
Than blood from beating, than poets from pride.
Jilted lovers, their earnest vows denied,
Your bohemian life, eagerly read,
Vainglorious words and beauty wed,
To your poetic nature like a bride.
Faithfulness to art a winsome doom.
How great was Envy’s pressure to be true,
To the siren who infamously burned?
A Pulitzer for voicing freedoms earned.
Luminous the light of being you,
Free to live and love, what you loved and whom.
It’s hard to say goodbye to Vincent, but awfully good to be about to say Hello to February. And as much fun as its been to spend a month in her company, she would be the first to tell you variety is the spice of life. Time to head out again farther afield with more spontaneity and new poets.
Here is a charming grainy home made movies of Edna with her friends. I highly recommend you turn your volume to zero when you watch it. Someone, well meaning I am sure, laid in music over the top. These were silent films, similar to the films of my mother as a child. Try watching it as Vincent would have watched it. And then we will bid adieu to Millay letting her own words have the last word.
From Not For A Nation
By Edna St. Vincent Millay
What rider spurs him from the darkening east
As from a forest, and with rapid pound
Of hooves, now light, now louder on hard ground,
Approaches, and rides past with speed increased,
Dark spots and flecks of foam upon his beast?
What shouts he from the saddle, turning ’round,
As he rides on? — “Greetings!” — I made the sound;
“Greetings from Nineveh!” — it seemed, at least.
Did someone catch the object that he flung?
He held some object on his saddle-bow,
And flung it towards us as he passed; among
The children then it fell most likely; no,
‘Tis here: a little bell without a tongue.
Listen; it has a voice even so.
I Will Put Chaos Into Fourteen Lines
by Edna St. Vincent Millay
I will put Chaos into fourteen lines
And keep him there; and let him thence escape
If he be lucky; let him twist, and ape
Flood, fire, and demon – his adroit designs
Will strain to nothing in the strict confines
Of this sweet Order, where, in pious rape,
I hold his essence and amorphous shape,
Till he with Order mingles and combines.
Past are the hours, the years, of our duress,
His arrogance, our awful servitude:
I have him. He is nothing more than less
Than something simple not yet understood;
I shall not even force him to confess,
Or answer. I will only make him good.