Quotes by Edna St. Vincent Millay

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Edna St. Vincent Millay (used the pseudonym Nancy Boyd) (February 22, 1892 October 19, 1950) was a lyrical poet and playwright and the first woman to receive the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. She was also known for her unconventional and Bohemian lifestyle and her many love affairs with both men and women.

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Where you used to be, there is a hole in the world, which I find myself constantly walking around in the daytime, and falling in at night. I miss you like hell.

I know I am but summer to your heart, and not the full four seasons of the year.
April comes like an idiot, babbling and strewing flowers.
Parrots, tortoises and redwoods live a longer life than men do; Men a longer life than dogs do; Dogs a longer life than love does.
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!
Childhood is the kingdom where nobody dies. Nobody that matters, that is.
It's not true that life is one damn thing after another; it's one damn thing over and over.
And if I loved you Wednesday, Well, what is that to you? I do not love you Thursday--So much is true.
… my heart is set / On living—I have heroes to beget / Before I die ….
God, I can push the grass apart and lay my finger on Thy heart.
Set the foot down with distrust on the crust of the world -- it is thin.
A person who publishes a book appears willfully in public with his pants down.
… what frosty fate’s in store / For the warm blood of man,—man, out of ooze / But lately crawled, and climbing up the shore?
Life in itself / Is nothing, / An empty cup, a flight of uncarpeted stairs.
“That love at length should find me out ….”
Your body was a temple to Delight ….
I had a little Sorrow, / Born of a little Sin.
All skins are shed at length, remorse, even shame.
Life is a quest and love a quarrel ….
You think we build a world; I think we leave / Only these tools, wherewith to strain and grieve.
Cut if you will, with Sleep’s dull knife, / Each day to half its length, my friend,— / The years that time takes off my life, / He’ll take from off the other end!
My candle burns at both its ends; / It will not last the night; / But oh, my foes, and oh, my friends / It gives a lovely light.
The fabric of my faithful love / No power shall dim or ravel / Whilst I stay here—but oh, my dear, / If I should ever travel!
The heart once broken is a heart no more, / And is absolved from all a heart must be.
Down you mongrel, Death! / Back into your kennel!
I shall die, but that is all that I shall do for Death; I am not on his pay-roll.
The soul can split the sky in two, / And let the face of God shine through.
Was it for this I uttered prayers, / And sobbed and cursed and kicked the stairs, / That now, domestic as a plate, / I should retire at half-past eight?
I make bean-stalks, I’m / A builder, like yourself.
I turn away reluctant from your light, / And stand irresolute, a mind undone, / A silly, dazzled thing deprived of sight / From having looked too long upon the sun.
Pity me that the heart is slow to learn / What the swift mind beholds at every turn.
Soar, eat ether, see what has never been seen; depart, be lost, / But climb.
Spring will not ail nor summer falter; / Nothing will know that you are gone ….
With him for a sire and her for a dam, / What should I be but just what I am?
It is not enough that yearly, down this hill, April Comes like an idiot, babbling and strewing flowers.
O April, full of blood, full of breath, have pity upon us! Pale, where the winter like a stone has been lifted away, we emerge like yellow grass. Be for a moment quiet, buffet us not, have pity upon us, Till the green come back into the vein, till the giddiness pass.
I cannot but remember When the year grows old--October--November--How she disliked the cold!
. . . I know that Beauty must ail and die, And will be born again,--but ah, to see Beauty stiffened, staring up at the sky! Oh, Autumn! Autumn!--What is the Spring to me?
Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind; Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave. I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned.

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