Edna St. Vincent Millay.
Det framkommer på vissa ställen på nätet att Vincent Millay är att betrakta som en bortglömd författare, kanske stämmer det med verkligheten men förhoppningsvis är hon en mer framträdande gestalt i den amerikanska litteraturhistorieskrivningen än i den svenska. Och förhoppningsvis finns hon i flera andra litteraturvänners medvetande.
Ett par böcker av och om henne har jag nu beställt till mitt bibliotek - Collected Poems respektive Restless spirit av Miriam Gurko. Även Nancy Milford har skrivit om författaren den biografin presenteras här. Det finns tyvärr inget av Vincent Millay översatt till svenska så det återstår att se hur jag fungerar ihop med poesi på engelska.
Poets.org, som jag tycker har en mindre spekulativ ton än vissa andra nättexter, skriver så här om Edna St. Vincent Millay:
"Poet and playwright Edna St. Vincent Millay was born in Rockland, Maine, on February 22, 1892. Her mother, Cora, raised her three daughters on her own after asking her husband to leave the family home in 1899. Cora encouraged her girls to be ambitious and self-sufficient, teaching them an appreciation of music and literature from an early age. In 1912, at her mother's urging, Millay entered her poem "Renascence" into a contest: she won fourth place and publication in The Lyric Year, bringing her immediate acclaim and a scholarship to Vassar. There, she continued to write poetry and became involved in the theater. She also developed intimate relationships with several women while in school, including the English actress Wynne Matthison. In 1917, the year of her graduation, Millay published her first book, Renascence and Other Poems. At the request of Vassar's drama department, she also wrote her first verse play, The Lamp and the Bell (1921), a work about love between women.
Millay, whose friends called her "Vincent," then moved to New York's Greenwich Village, where she led a notoriously Bohemian life. She lived in a nine-foot-wide attic and wrote anything she could find an editor willing to accept. She and the other writers of Greenwich Village were, according to Millay herself, "very, very poor and very, very merry." She joined the Provincetown Players in their early days, and befriended writers such as Witter Bynner, Edmund Wilson, Susan Glaspell, and Floyd Dell, who asked for Millay's hand in marriage. Millay, who was openly bisexual, refused, despite Dell's attempts to persuade her otherwise. That same year Millay published A Few Figs from Thistles (1920), a volume of poetry which drew much attention for its controversial descriptions of female sexuality and feminism. In 1923 her fourth volume of poems, The Harp Weaver, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize. In addition to publishing three plays in verse, Millay also wrote the libretto of one of the few American grand operas, The King's Henchman (1927).
Millay married Eugen Boissevain, a self-proclaimed feminist and widower of Inez Milholland, in 1923. Boissevain gave up his own pursuits to manage Millay's literary career, setting up the readings and public appearances for which Millay grew quite famous. According to Millay's own accounts, the couple acted liked two bachelors, remaining "sexually open" throughout their twenty-six-year marriage, which ended with Boissevain's death in 1949. Edna St. Vincent Millay died in 1950."
Ett par dikter får avsluta kvällens inlägg:
Afternoon on a Hill
I will be the gladdest thing
Under the sun!
I will touch a hundred flowers
And not pick one.
I will look at cliffs and clouds
With quiet eyes,
Watch the wind bow down the grass,
And the grass rise.
And when lights begin to show
Up from the town,
I will mark which must be mine,
And then start down!
Och naturligtvis, fast tyvärr är det inte förfataren själv som läser:
Tack Ingrid för att du ledde mig hit!