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Posted at 8:08 AM ET, 02/22/2011

Edna St. Vincent Millay's candle burns bright

By Melissa Bell
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Milky Way over Switzerland. (Stephane Vetter/NASA)

Tuesday marks the 119th anniversary of the birth of Edna St. Vincent Millay, the fierce and rebellious Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, whose most famous lines may be, "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!" On her birthday, a poem:

God's World

O world, I cannot hold thee close enough!
Thy winds, thy wide grey skies!
Thy mists, that roll and rise!
Thy woods, this autumn day, that ache and sag
And all but cry with colour! That gaunt crag
To crush! To lift the lean of that black bluff!
World, World, I cannot get thee close enough!


Long have I known a glory in it all,
But never knew I this;
Here such a passion is
As stretcheth me apart, -- Lord, I do fear
Thou'st made the world too beautiful this year;
My soul is all but out of me, -- let fall
No burning leaf; prithee, let no bird call.

Every day, NASA features a photograph on its site of the sky with an explanation from an astronomer. The above photograph was taken over Neuchâtel, Switzerland, and captured the central band of our Milky Way galaxy, the Andromeda galaxy (M31), and the Triangulum galaxy (M33). I thought it a fitting illustration to St. Vincent Millay's poem.

By Melissa Bell  | February 22, 2011; 8:08 AM ET
Categories:  The Daily Catch  
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