Meet Edna St. Vincent Millay: Uber Bad-Ass Lady Poet

 

Hello Internet!

We’re so excited to talk to you today about one of our very favorite poets: Edna St. Vincent Millay. Edna was this bad-ass lady poet from New England in the early 20th century. Doug and I have been spending the better part of the last few months putting a bunch of her poems to music. She kicked a lot of ass.

During her life, she was an outspoken feminist, openly bisexual, and a much-lauded poet (She was the third woman ever to win the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry!). She criticized war efforts, spoke out against social injustice and sexism, coined the popular phrase “My candle burns at both ends.” and was famous for having many male and female lovers. Her work is, in turns, flippant, dark and irreverent — and then —  poised, lyrical, even demur. She criticized Her public life as a writer is an incredible testimony to the complex and shifting climate for women in the first half of the 20th century.

We’ll be airing some of our songs with her poetry this Saturday at LUCID Lounge (7-9pm), but we wanted to give you a little preview of what we’ve been doing. SO without further adieu, here is an early recording of Edna’s poem “BLUEBEARD.”

BLUEBEARD

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         5
    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;         10
And you did so profane me when you crept
    Unto the threshold of this room to-night
That I must never more behold your face.
    This now is yours. I seek another place.