Edna St. Vincent Millay

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The truth is that all of us attain the greatest success and happiness possible in this life whenever we use our native capacities to their greatest extent.
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"Vincent"

Edna St. Vincent Millay (February 22, 1892October 19, 1950) was an American lyrical poet and playwright and the first woman to receive the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. She was also known for her unconventional, bohemian lifestyle and her many love affairs. She used the pseudonym Nancy Boyd for her prose work.

Sourced

  • The world stands out on either side
    No wider than the heart is wide;
    Above the world is stretched the sky, —
    No higher than the soul is high.
    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.
    But East and West will pinch the heart
    That can not keep them pushed apart;
    And he whose soul is flat — the sky
    Will cave in on him by and by.
    • "Renascence" (1912) from Renascence and Other Poems (1917)


  • 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.
    • "First Fig" from A Few Figs from Thistles (1920)


  • Euclid alone has looked on Beauty bare.
    Let all who prate of Beauty hold their peace,
    And lay them prone upon the earth and cease
    To ponder on themselves, the while they stare
    At nothing.
    • Sonnet XXII from The Harp-Weaver and Other Poems (1923)


  • 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.
    • Sonnet XXX from Fatal Interview (1931)

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