Appreciating Edna St. Vincent Millay at the Literary Legend’s Valley Home

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The acclaimed poet, a Vassar graduate, took inspiration from nature at the Hudson Valley home that is now being saved.

By Reed Sparling  

Described by one writer as the “Bob Dylan and Madonna of her generation,” poet Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950) was partly responsible for promoting the “roar” in the Roaring Twenties, both through her groundbreaking (and to some, shocking) work and bohemian lifestyle. The two are best exemplified by the lines from “First Fig” (1920):

My candle burns at both ends;
    It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends—
    It gives a lovely light!

Often overlooked, however, is Millay’s lifelong passion for nature and how a retreat in Columbia County’s Berkshire Hills, her home for 25 years, allowed her to indulge in it.