A Fatal Interview with Edna St. Vincent Millay

February 22, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Poetry, WRITING & LITERATURE | 1 Comment |

Born 22 February 1892 (died 19 October 1950)

TVC: Do you regret meeting George Dillon?

E: He was such a gentleman.  He glowed and glowered, like a candle.  I blew him out but the moon lit up his face again.

TVC: Er, ye-es.  I gather that throughout the affair, however, you never lost your love for your husband, Eugen?

E: That’s right. But I was obsessed with St. George. I’m glad that most of our correspondence is lost.  There is nothing more tedious than curators poring over old love letters.

TVC: Your long sequence of sonnets, Fatal Interview, sets out the course of all of that – the seduction of a man who was virtually still a boy, the compliant husband in the background, the agonising separations, reunions and then the last goodbye.  It is probably your best work – was it worth it?

E: In the end. But through the haze of alcohol and quietus, it is hard to appreciate the worth of it, or any of it.

TVC: Let me quote you therefore, so you can see why I think it was well worth it:

Love me no more, now let the god depart,

If love be grown so bitter to your tongue!

Here is my hand; I bid you from my heart

Fare well, fare very well, be always young.

As for myself, mine was a deeper drouth:

I drank and thirsted still; but I surmise

My kisses now are sand against your mouth,

Teeth in your palm and pennies on your eyes.”

1 Comment

  1. Reply

    Julie Porter

    March 7, 2018

    Edna St. Vincent Millay was a brilliant poet who "let her candle burn at both ends."

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