Thursday, March 01, 2007

A Feast of Friends

Edna St. Vincent Millay was a wild one, to be sure. From the hilarious introduction to her Selected Poems (2003) by J.D. McClatchy: She had done what all good writers do -- behaved badly. Her ruthlessness had more charm than that of others, but Millay spared no one -- least of all herself -- in her drive to create the 'havoc' her poems feed on, and then to surround herself with the solitude to work that chaos into shimmering lines. . . Scandal, of course, only enhanced her celebrity. . . . .

Bluebeard (1917)

This door you might not open, and you did,
So enter now, and see for what slight thing
You are betrayed . . . Here is no treasure hid,
No cauldron, no clear crystal mirroring
The sought-for truth, no heads of women slain
For greed like yours, no writhings of distress;
But only what you see . . . Look yet again:
An empty room, cobwebbed and comfortless.
Yet this alone out of my life I kept
Unto myself, lest any know me quite;
And you did so profane me when you crept
Unto the threshold of this room tonight
That I must never more behold your face.
This now is yours. I seek another place.

Feast (1923)

I drank at every vine.
The last was like the first.
I came upon no wine
So wonderful as thirst.

I gnawed at every root.
I ate at every plant.
I came upon no fruit
So wonderful as want.

Feed the grape and bean
To the vinter and monger;
I will lie down lean
With my thirst and my hunger.

Today's Rune: Harvest. 1815: Napoleon I returned to France from Elba exile for one last throw.

Birthdays: Sandro Botticelli, Frédéric Chopin, Glenn Miller, Robert Lowell, Howard Nemerov, Ralph Ellison, Burning Spear, Chris Webber .



Anonymous said...

Good read as usual Erik. Thank you. MW

Zelda Fitzgerald said...

How could she possibly screw a nerdy looking guy like Edmund Wilson? Booze makes strange bedfellows.

Charles Gramlich said...

I like "feast" a lot.

lulu said...

I love Edna. When I was in school I usually found an excuse to work her into whatever the assignment was.