This blog, Blush of Dawn’s ”original re-start up poet,” Edna St. Vincent Millay, Maine, New England-born author, b. Feb. 22, 1892 celebrates a Pisces moon today! (And I, too share this remembered moon.) 🌜
Just in time as the moon will soon move to Aries, I will share a favorite poem of hers from ones my cat Peeko likes to listen to currently; he’s also partly of Maine origin.
The book it’s from is Second April, but I haven’t read the book fully yet. This poem mentions a memorable New England creature I remember I was thrilled to see the first time I saw one in nature around the time when I first moved to MA 10 years ago:
Edna, known for revitalizing traditional poetry like rhythmic, metered sonnets (as different in form from poetic prose and free verse), won the Pulitzer Prize for her book Ballad of the Harp Weaver in 1923.
She had been starring at her poetry events in which truly enthused fans, both men and women, might faint, weep, and cheer “Encore!” at these intensely moving, often high energy poetry readings.
She too struggled with depression, especially toward a period in her later life when she was beginning to write new themes in her poetry, and was discouraged by her colleagues and literary circle as told these were ’not literary enough.’ She would be found one day in tears, thinking her own latest work valueless, after a time. But we showcase so much great art of hers now on the blog.
While I was eagerly saving notes on The Book of Khalid (1911) and compiling my review to share with excitement on my previous ’Sagittarian Invasion’ post and was also excited to actually be able to save the notes without my phone, I realized Edna would’ve been writing around the same time as the previous post’s author and she the younger author of those mentioned and would’ve lived much of her life in Greenwich Village, New York City, USA, near where prev. mentioned authors, Ameen Rihani and Khalil Gibran also lived. Edna died on Oct. 19, 1950, found fallen down a flight stairs in her home in Upstate New York after having a heart attack, a poem she was writing in her hands.
🌛This moon of hers feels very much in my heart💗 necessary and glad to share today on the blog…and this weekend’s posts will be up for you to enjoy some time, as I enjoy a slowing down of glad restfulness and balance.
(…Shh, 🤫 I began a couple of poetry drafts in my paper notebook here too, handwritten with a pen.)
Edna maybe would’ve been glad to hear of Ameen’s lighting up to smoke joke, and she was known to enjoy smoking cigars unashamed, and attend great parties.
Here is Edna St. Vincent Millay’s poem, a favorite one of mine from Second April (1921), pub. 100 yrs ago!:
Doubt No More That Oberon
Doubt no more that Oberon—
Never doubt that Pan
Lived, and played a reed, and ran
After nymphs in a dark forest,
In the merry, credulous days,—
Lived, and led a fairy band
Over the indulgent land!
Ah, for in this dourest, sorest
Age man’s eye has looked upon,
Death to fauns and death to fays,
Still the dog-wood dares to raise—
Healthy tree, with trunk and root—
Ivory bowls that bear no fruit,
And the starlings and the jays—
Birds that cannot even sing—
Dare to come again in spring!
—Edna St. Vincent Millay (1921)
Wow, fairy mentions 🧚♂️in this poem I’d not remembered! 🙃And blue jays were the bird I was greatly surprised to spot in MA where I live now after not seeing those in Brooklyn, New York. 🌃
This poem for me means humble appreciation within a person as in the enjoyment of simple imagination and your own dreams’ essence…I love Edna’s contrasting pair of words in the line ”merry, credulous days,” which enhances the line’s meaning, and how the poem was unplanned to necessarily fit, yet very much fits nicely with Ameen Rihani’s novel in the prev. post.