QUICK FACTS ABOUT EDNA ST. VINCENT MILLAY
Dates: b. February 22, 1892 in Rockland, Maine; d. October 19, 1950 in Austerlitz, New York
Recognition: Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, 1923
Married: Eugen Boissevain in 1925
To read her poetry: Everypoet.com's Archive of Classic Poems
For more information: The Millay Society
Please welcome poet, playwright, and activist Edna St. Vincent Millay! Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to speak with us, Ms. Millay.
My candle burns at both ends/It will not last the night!
I guess we'd better hurry then. OK, here's my first question. What made you want to become a writer?
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 screamed, and -- lo! -- Infinity/Came down and settled over me.../Whispered to me a word whose sound/ Deafened the air for worlds around,/And brought unmuffled to my ears/The gossiping of friendly spheres,/The creaking of the tented sky,/The ticking of Eternity./I saw and heard, and knew at last/The How and Why of all things, past,/And present, and forevermore.
Wow. So you wanted to share that with others. What else inspires you?
I will look at cliffs and clouds/With quiet eyes,/Watch the wind bow down the grass,/And the grass rise.
Beautiful. Do you have a favorite place to write?
Come see my shining palace built upon the sand!
What a lovely offer. After we're done, let's head over. What do you do when the words won't come?
Tiresome heart, forever living and dying,/House without air, I leave you and lock your door.
Hmm... Do you have any advice for young poets?
Into the golden vessel of great song/Let us pour all our passion!
Thanks for sharing your passion with us, Ms. Millay!
P.S. When I was considering which poet to interview, I thought about Shakespeare, but it turns out that he's been interviewed a lot already! Here's a radio interview from the 1950s: "CBS Radio Workshop - Interview With William Shakespeare"