POETS Day! Edna St. Vincent Millay

[This entry is cross posted at ordinary-times.com]

Happy New Year and welcome to the first POETS Day of 2023. It’s not a prime numbered year, but that’s okay. If every year were prime we wouldn’t look forward to them the way we do. I don’t know what new challenges and joys may arise this trip around the sun but I do know that old challenges have a habit of carrying over. Work still takes time away from better uses and you still feel the loss of time most acutely as the miniscule bit of it that is yours to use freely approaches. The weekend is coming. Stop waiting. Piss Off Early, Tomorrow’s Saturday. Dissemble, obfuscate, fudge the truth, and gleefully trespass the norms and delicate pieties that preserve our hopefully durable civilization. Nearly all means are justified by the urge to prematurely escape the bonds of employment and settle in at a friendly neighborhood joint a few hours before even happy hour begins, find a park bench and a guitar and busk, put on your two-tone shoes and play the ponies, or God forbid, go for a light jog. It’s your weekend. Do with it as you will, but in homage to the mighty acronym may I suggest setting aside a moment for a little verse? It’s a particularly good way to pass time waiting on friends who may not run as roughshod over the delicate pieties and were not as successful as you were in engineering an early exit.

I knew little to nothing of Edna St. Vincent Millay until the beginning of this week. I’ve come across her work before and read a few poems here and there, but she was a name on a long list of names I resigned to never find the time to get to know as much as I wished. Her name came up in reference to a crossword puzzle. The clue was “Poet _____ Wylie” and I had “EL_NOR” but if I was right about the across word the name would be “ELINOR.” I’d never seen it spelled that way so I checked Google. There she was. Elinor Wylie. I downloaded one of Wylie’s collections and while some was really good most was structurally impressive with little content or vice versa. It was a small sampling and she was well though of during her time so I’m not passing judgement yet, but I did notice that among those who admired her was Millay, several volumes of who’s work a quick search showed was available at the library down the road. I checked her out.

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