Inspiring women: Edna St. Vincent Millay

Poet and playwright Edna St. Vincent Millay was raised by her single mother, Cora, after she asked her husband to leave. Cora encouraged her daughters to be ambitious and self-sufficient, teaching them an appreciation of music and literature.

Edna won a scholarship to Vassar and upon graduation (1917) moved to Greenwich Village, where she led a notoriously Bohemian life; "very, very poor and very, very merry". Below, is one of my favourite poems, perfect for this season too.

Untitled [I know I am but summer to your heart]
I know I am but summer to your heart,
And not the full four seasons of the year;
And you must welcome from another part
Such noble moods as are not mine, my dear.
No gracious weight of golden fruits to sell
Have I, nor any wise and wintry thing;
And I have loved you all too long and well
To carry still the high sweet breast of Spring.
Wherefore I say: O love, as summer goes,
I must be gone, steal forth with silent drums,
That you may hail anew the bird and rose
When I come back to you, as summer comes.
Else will you seek, at some not distant time,
Even your summer in another clime.

Books: The Selected Poetry of Edna St. Vincent Millay (Modern Library Classics)
Savage Beauty: The Life of Edna St. Vincent Millay

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