98 Top Edna St. Vincent Millay Quotes For A Better Understanding Of Life
Poetess and Playwright
Edna St. Vincent Millay was a celebrated American poet, writer and activist who wrote some of the best sonnets in the world. She was honored with many awards for her work. It is a lesser-known fact that she is one of the few female poets to receive the prestigious “Pulitzer Prize for Poetry” for her work ‘The Ballad of the Harp Weaver’. Her novel titled ‘A Few Figs from Thistles’ raised a few eyebrows as it preached about female sexuality and feminism. The general theme of her work was based on individualism and contemplation of oneself through spirituality in the face of oppression due to gender bias. It glorified women rights and feministic approach which inspired many women to view matters of life in a different manner. Her work intended to spark a revolution for changing the mindset of a common man in the society. Even though she died early, her legacy remains forever in the hearts of the womenfolk in her country and all over the globe. Being a noted writer and poet, she shared her thoughts and views on several things. Many of her thoughts have become famous as her quotes and they are quoted extensively. We have compiled Edna St. Vincent Millay’s quotes from her writings, speeches etc. Browse through Edna Millay’s quotes on aging, beauty, books, children, earth, god, grief, hate, death, love, memories, hills, rain, sleep, songs, summer and much more.
They say when you are missing someone that they are probably feeling the same, but I don't think it's possible for you to miss me as much as I'm missing you right now I know I am but summer to your heart, and not the full four seasons of the year. 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. Please give me some good advice in your next letter. I promise not to follow it. 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. 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! Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely. I am glad that I paid so little attention to good advice; had I abided by it I might have been saved from some of my most valuable mistakes. Childhood is not from birth to a certain age and at a certain age. The child is grown, and puts away childish things. Childhood is the kingdom where nobody dies. After all my erstwhile dear, my no longer cherished;
Need we say it was not love, just because it perished? I will be the gladdest thing under the sun! I will touch a hundred flowers and not pick one. It's not true that life is one damn thing after another; it's one damn thing over and over. I love humanity but I hate people. You see, I am a poet, and not quite right in the head, darling. It’s only that. What should I be
but just what I am? Pity me that the heart is slow to learn
What the swift mind beholds at every turn. Night falls fast.
Today is in the past.
Blown from the dark hill hither to my door
Three flakes, then four
Arrive, then many more. Ebb
I know what my heart is like
Since your love died:
It is like a hollow ledge
Holding a little pool
Left there by the tide,
A little tepid pool,
Drying inward from the edge. Soar, eat ether, see what has never been seen; depart, be lost, but climb. There is no shelter in you anywhere. The longest absence is less perilous to love than the terrible trials of incessant proximity. Lost in Hell,-Persephone,
Take her head upon your knee;
Say to her, "My dear, my dear,
It is not so dreadful here. No one but Night, with tears on her dark face, watches beside me in this windy place. Music, my rampart and my only one. This book, when I am dead, will be
A little faint perfume of me.
People who knew me well will say,
She really used to think that way. She is happy where she lies
With the dust upon her eyes. A person who publishes a book willfully appears before the populace with his pants down. If it is a good book nothing can hurt him. If it is a bad book nothing can help him. Please give me some good advice in your next letter. I promise not to follow it. (in a letter written while she was in college) You are loved. If so, what else matters? Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind;
Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave.
I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned. There is no God.
But it does not matter.
Man is enough. The heart can push the sea and land
Farther away on either hand;
The soul can split the sky in two,
And let the face of God shine through. I will come back to you, I swear I will;
And you will know me still.
I shall be only a little taller
Than when I went. I know, but I do not approve. And I am not resigned. I would blossom if I were a rose. A Poem from Edna St. Vincent Millay:
Was it for this I uttered prayers,
And sobbed and cursed and kicked the stairs,
That now, domestic as a plate,
I should retire at half-past eight? Life must go on; I forget just why. But you, you foolish girl, you have gone home to a leaky castle across the sea to lie awake in linen smelling of lavender, and hear the nightingale, and long for me. Night falls fast. Today is in the past. That which has quelled me, lives with me, Accomplice in catastrophe. And must I then, indeed, Pain, live with you
all through my life?-sharing my fire, my bed,
Sharing-oh, worst of all things!-the same head?-
And, when I feed myself, feeding you too? Guess I'll weep awhile. Guess I won't, I mean. Cruel of heart, lay down my song. Your reading eyes have done me wrong. Not for you was the pen bitten, And the mind wrung, and the song written. Second Fig
Safe upon the solid rock the ugly houses stand:
Come and see my shining palace built upon the sand! I do not think there is a woman in whom the roots of passion shoot deeper than in me. To a Young Poet
Time cannot break the bird's wing from the bird.
Bird and wing together
Go down, one feather.
No thing that ever flew,
Not the lark, not you,
Can die as others do. Childhood Is the Kingdom Where Nobody Dies. I, being born a woman and distressed By all the needs and notions of my kind... I dread no more the first white in my hair,
Or even age itself, the easy shoe,
The cane, the wrinkled hands, the special chair:
Time, doing this to me, may alter too
My anguish, into something I can bear And he whose soul is flat -- the sky
Will cave in on him by and by. When I can make
Of ten small words a rope to hang the world!
"I had you and I have you now no more. And her voice is a string of colored beads,
Or steps leading into the sea. A person who publishes a book appears willfully in public eye with his pants down. When you are corn and roses and at rest
I shall endure, a dense and sanguine ghost
To haunt the scene where I was happiest
To bend above the thing I loved the most Oh, friend, forget not, when you fain would note
In me a beauty that was never mine,
How first you knew me in a book I wrote,
How first you loved me for a written line.... How first you knew me in a book I wrote,
How first you loved me for a written line But she was not made for any man, and she will never be all mine. Ah, I could lay me down in this long grass
And close my eyes, and let the quiet wind
Blow over me A ghost in marble of a girl you knew
Who would have loved you in a day or two. She learned her hands in a fairy-tale,
And her mouth on a valentine. ... but the rain
Is full of ghosts tonight I saw and heard, and knew at last
The How and Why of all things, past,
and present, and forevermore. Take up the song; forget the epitaph. Parrots, tortoises and redwoods live a longer life than men do; Men a longer life than dogs do; Dogs a longer life than love does. The undercurrent of my every thought:
To seek you, find you, have you for my own. But you were something more than young and sweet
And fair, - and the long year remembers you. Degraded bird, I give you back your eyes forever, ascend now whither you are tossed;
Forsake this wrist, forsake this rhyme;
Soar, eat ether, see what has never been seen; depart, be lost,
But climb. The sky, I thought, is not so grand;
I 'most could touch it with my hand!
And reaching up my hand to try,
I screamed to feel it touch the sky. I would I were alive again to kiss the fingers of the rain. One things there's no getting by,
I've been a wicked girl,
But, if I can't be sorry I might as well be glad ! ...but the rain
Is full of ghosts tonight, that tap and sigh
Upon the glass and listen for reply... Catch from the board of beauty/ Such careless crumbs as fall. Yet here one time your spirit was wont to move;
Here might I hope to find you day or night,
And here I come to look for you, my love,
Even now, foolishly, knowing you are dead. Learn to love blackness while there is yet time, blackness
Unpatterned, blackness without horizons. But the roaring of the fire,
And the warmth of fur,
And the boiling of the kettle
Were beautiful to her! Relaxing me from head to feet
Love masters me, the bitter sweet
O'er thy limbs breathing;
Yea, Eros now, the god born blind
Sweeps my soul like the mountain wind
Through the oaks seething. The younger generation forms a country of its own. Unlike most people, I kept my mouth shut about the man I was living with. Searching my heart for its true sorrow, This is the thing I find to be: That I am weary of words and people, Sick of the city, wanting the sea. A wind with a wolf's head
Howled about our door,
And we burned up the chairs
And sat upon the floor. Handsome, this day: no matter who has died. So come on out, my dear old sweet Sister, - & we'll open our oysters together. Heart, have no pity on this house of bone:
Shake it with dancing, break it down with joy. I will control myself, or go inside.
I will not flaw perfection with my grief.
Handsome, this day: no matter who has died. Hard, hard it is, this anxious autumn
To lift the heavy mind from its dark forebodings; I have learned to fail. And I have had my say. Into each dance must be packed the panic and ecstasy of her last moment of life, for underneath was death. Who's that knocking on my grave and will not let me sleep, a year has one The breath of dying lilies haunted the twilight air.
About the trees my arms I wound;
Like one going mad I hugged the ground;
I raised my quivering arms on high;
I laughed and laughed into the sky.
Into the darkness they go, the wise & the lovely
The sun that warmed our stooping backs and withered the weed
We shall not feel it again.
We shall die in darkness, and be buried in the rain.
And you as well must die, beloved dust,
And all your beauty stand you in no stead;
This flawless, vital hand, this perfect head,
This body of flame and steel, before the gust.
Along my body, waking while I sleep,
Sharp to the kiss, cold to the hand as snow,
The scar of this encounter like a sword
Not only under ground are the brains of men Eaten by maggots, Life in itself Is nothing, An empty cup, The Prisoner
What's in a name?
I guess I'll be locked into
As much as I'm locked out of!