Tag: edna st vincent millay

  • There isn’t a train I wouldn’t take

    We just returned from the last of a summer of endless road-trips. This one was definitely the saddest: my husband and his sister buried their mother’s ashes this weekend in her family plot in Pittsburgh. That’s Judy, above. Her obituary gives you the basics of her impressive career: after she and my father-in-law divorced in the […]

  • Twitter as commonplace book

    I’ve done just enough archival work to be fascinated by poets’ commonplace books. It’s been more than a decade since I worked among Marianne Moore’s papers at the Rosenbach, but I was impressed by her fantastically crabbed hand in a series of tiny notebooks, recording quotations she liked. At the Library of Congress, you can […]

  • Poetry by the Sea, Pt. 1: Edna Rules

    “Edna rules!” a woman declared to me in the hotel hallway, waving a vigorous fist. “I mean, Vincent!” I organized a panel  on Edna St. Vincent Millay for Poetry by the Sea, an annual writing conference in Madison, Connecticut. The other speakers were Anna Lena Phillips Bell speaking about Millay as an ecopoet; January Gill […]

  • Toasting successes, fleeing gnats

    Even though I’m not teaching this year, I can SMELL that it’s the last week of classes. The campus, lush from an unusually rainy May, is full of giddy, jittery, sneezing students. My colleagues are staggering around exhausted, arms full of ungraded papers. Processing my heavy email load is like trying to get free of […]

  • All my words small but costly: Emerson, illness, and work

    Sometimes there’s a poetry-sized gap in your life. Today I filled it with a vintage stored against future need–Claudia Emerson’s final collection, Impossible Bottle. This was supposed to be one of those golden weeks, too rare even on sabbatical, when I had no big obligations and could just write and revise, but it’s not happening. […]

  • Why Edna St. Vincent Millay ate herbs in Dorset

    Most of the female poets I read as a young woman had no children, or one. They steered clear of sexual relationships with men or, not having access to birth control, sought abortions. This fact had a terrible fascination for me in my early twenties, especially since the zero-or-one rule also held among so many […]

  • Noise, Voice, and the T. S. Eliot Society

    Last week, on the night of my birthday, I dreamed that my father phoned from the afterlife. The strangeness of hearing his voice made me think, the next morning, of Edna St. Vincent Millay’s elegies for the voices of lost loved ones: photographs were common then but since audio recordings were very rare, a person’s […]