From the Library…Edna St. Vincent Millay

in Daily Programme

by Gabrielle Riel on Sunday, 11 January, 2009

Note: Some of today’s music comes from original wax cylinders and early 78 rpm records. Because these are original recordings, there are some songs that are very “non politically correct” and that would be considered inappropriate in today’s world. For example, their portrayal of African Americans and Irish Americans is often negative. Radio Riel presents these as a historical record and in NO way supports these concepts. We have tried to remove as many of the songs that we consider offensive as possible.

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!

Today, Radio Riel features music from the early part of the 20th Century (1900 — 1930) in honor of our special program, produced in conjunction with the Caledon Library, on the American poet, Edna St. Vincent Millay.

Caledon Library Book Discussion and Listening Party
Selected Poetry of Edna St. Vincent Millay
Sunday, Jan 11th, 2009
1–3pm SLT
HG Wells Memorial Library, Caledon Wellsian

Or tune in at

This month we peer into the future to consider the poetry of Miss Edna St. Vincent Millay. Millay’s passionate outpourings are rather heightened than constrained by her precise poetic diction. Add to this a strikingly natural and unabashedly frank poetical voice (her works reflect the spirit of nonconformity that pervaded her Greenwich Village milieu) and you have poetry that has been both inspiration and solace for four generations of enthusiastic readers.

Millay is justly celebrated for her ability to combine modernist attitudes with traditional forms, creating a unique American poetry. From a biographical sketch on the Poetry Foundations site:
A reviewer for the London Morning Post wrote, “Without discarding the forms of an older convention, she speaks the thoughts of a new age.” American poet and critic Allen Tate also pointed out in the New Republic that Millay used a nineteenth-century vocabulary to convey twentieth-century emotion: “She has been from the beginning the one poet of our time who has successfully stood athwart two ages.” And Patricia A. Klemans commented in the Colby Library Quarterly that Millay achieved universality “by interweaving the woman’s experience with classical myth, traditional love literature, and nature.”

This event will be the second of our “interactively DJ’d” Poetry Discussions. With the kind co-operation of Radio Riel DJ (and Millay enthusiast) Gabrielle Riel, we will listen to recordings of the poems, discuss them, and then listen to them a second (or, who knows, even a third time.)

Radio Riel produces this program in conjunction with the Caledon Library in Second Life. Today’s music originates from the music library of Gabrielle Riel.

For more information on the Caledon Library, current exhibits and the work of Second Life reference libraries in general, please visit the Caledon Library Web site, or one of their locations in-world.

You can listen to the program now by clicking here, or simply visit any Caledon Library branch in-world and press Play on your embedded music player.


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