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National Educational radio takes pleasure in introducing one in a series of recorded lectures and readings from the Library of Congress in Washington. But I just were given in cooperation with the good true Clark put all poetry and literature off on to the library today. Norma Millay will read From the Collected Poems of her sister Edna St. Vincent Millay. Later she will be joined by Roscoe Lee Brown introducing the guests is James Dickey consulted in poetry to the Library of Congress. My name is James Dickey poetry consultant. It will be a brief pause so that you can whisper to your neighbor or in your inmost mind so what. But at any rate I'm here to say the usual. Good evening ladies and gentleman. And to say that it's my very great pleasure. To introduce and welcome to the Library of Congress on this Norma Millay. It will read From the Collected Poems of a sister of the
American poet Edna St. Vincent Millay. Norma Millay was born brought up in Maine where she was graduated from from Camden High School. She started singing in Camden and later New York City where she joined her sister in Greenwich Village in the good old days. And after the poets graduation from Vassar College they became active in the problems in the famous Provincetown Players. And in whose production of the poet's play are you had a copy capo directed by it's awful. Norma Millay played the poet of Columbine. She continued her stage career. Appearing in such productions as patients fashion and design are under the elms on Broadway she played in curtain raisers for the Emperor Jones and love for love. And in one hundred twenty one sang the
role of Sir patta in Mozart's opera Buffy to judge him yeah. She was. Married to the Pinta Charles Ellis in the 1920s and then moved from New York to New City in Rockland County New York State where many of the oddest friends live. While Mr Ellis continued his career in art and on the stage misplay devoted her attentions increasingly to their property and gardens and appear appeared infrequently in the fish room. When Edna St. Vincent Millay died in 1015 they moved to the poet's home steeple top where Miss Marlay is presently at work on a bar graffiti of a famous system. To posthumously published volumes volumes of the late poets work edited by Norma Millay. A literary executor or mine the
harvest which appeared in 1954 and collected poems which was published in 1956 and from which Mr. Lay will read this evening. Before she began. I wish to extend to all of you an invitation to meet Miss Norma Millay after her reading in the North Gallery one floor above where an exhibit devoted to Edna St. Vincent Millay will formally open before you joined Miss M.A. in the North Gallery. Well please allow a moment or two after her reading. To make it more or less legal a transition from the auditorium to the North Gallery. And now bringing back words that have never really left us. Norma Millay. Ah.
And I think I'll get right to the business at hand and redeployed and it was something I was going to say before it but I was so interested in my introduction that it's left me. What was that. Maybe I'll think of it later. This is a prime card kept down to the book which is the South of France. As you probably know there was an aisle here devoted to reserve seats for friends of mine and I can't locate it. We put up your hands please. Thank you for the poem. The story is over and the land has forgotten the storm.
The trees are still under this sun the earth dries quickly cones from the Sea Pines cover the ground again. Yesterday for my fire I gathered all inside. But the leaves on me. The smell of the small listen that grows wild here is in the air. It is a child that morning. More sea than land. My sulky mind whipped by tempest in the night is not so soon appeased into my occupations with a dull roar. It washes. It receives even those at my side in a calm day. The disturbed Mediterranean lurches with heavy swell against the twittering shoal of. Course I shall read a lot of. What I was and you mustn't all feel you must clash with
them. See if some things are going to do tonight. A very well they're always timely I think. See awaiting me. Liverpool live. I cannot but three is called October November by the way. Unfortunately I cannot but remember. When the year grows Oh. October. November. How she dislike the cold. She used to watch the swallows go down across the sky. And turn from the window with the little shops on. And off and when the bear bows. Were brittle on the ground and the wind in the chimney made a melancholy sound. She had a look about her that I wished I could forget. The look of a scared thing sitting in a
nit or beautiful at night for the soft spitting snow. And beautiful bare boughs rubbing to and fro. But the drawing of the fire and the warmth of her. And the boiling of the kettle were beautiful to her. I cannot but remember when the year grows old. October November. How does she dislike the cold. T. Thank. You. I think I know these three songs said to Tremont when I SO MUCH prefer not having the book if I can in them even if I make the little mistake that he would prefer two three sonnets into ten a time and I have a feeling about them is that with these poems were written with four of these to a line instead of the usual five
most of the sonnet because. It was it was in it. There just wasn't time. I feel that as I read them perhaps you will too. When I see how these masses mill and swarm and true then muster under sail. God we could keep this planet warm by friction if the sun should fail. Jupiter Venus seven miles if no crowd catch your avid sees then in your weakness say no walls explode. With such catastrophes as rock our planet all but loose from its frayed moring to the sun. Law will not sanction such abuse forever when the mischief is done. Planets rejoice on whom at night it rains but the 12 ton meteorite.
Is stop the dock Delphinium. Unformed into the pending hand to really prove yet that our will. And must in such a spiny land for sale pay powdering million net before these gathering dues are gone that may pierce me does the rovers regret the day she did her own. In the supplants the fair. The course defeats the twice refined it is food for thought but not THIS bad. All will be easy when the mind to meet the brutal age has grown. An iron cortex of its own. No further from me than my hand is China that I love so well. Love does not help to understand the logic of the best teams Carol.
Perfect in dream above me it shines the white hone of Fuji san. I wake in fear and we then sway we for Yoshida for Japan. Logic alone. All lovely I must come this crazed and plunging style sorrowful new shoes but such as I. Who hope with men just as they are in full and loving. To secure a human peace that might endure. Protect. Them. Oh here's a lovely one.
For what you think that means I have to change glasses. So thank you. We won't know the difference after I get them on except that I shall go. This has no time. It was I published didn't publish it in the book she was about to bring out herself in 1950. A lot of poems I've found still in notebooks but you had groups of poems that is already a group to go into the book she was preparing. So I had the well the interest of bringing out this book full and this is one of some of these are not titled and in here they just have a little decoration in front of them in the book to show that they're not titled because I think there's
nothing more dreadful than a thing called Untitled coin don't you. Awful. And this is very pretty the sort of thing. All right. To whom the house of Montague was Neda. And that option near. Where in all pleasant fruit trees grew whose tops were silvered by the clear light of the blessid sworn by moon or all but one by save that she knowing the moon's inconstancy dreaded that love might change as soon which changed. Never. Or did change into something rich and strange to whom in infancy the sight of sunshine and his nights in noble sad and awkward state approaching through the picket gate was warm up with the flesh of life then visits from the vicar's wife. From from earliest days the lips of her who launched a thousand ships in trancing three
and Troy was heard by no historic boy but one more close and less of food the boys who yank your curls at school far less of a fool than he who lay with the willing Venus on a bed of a.. Passed a deal and room a banquet around the wild time grew and longed to but to be gone from thence whom they nly the illness did implore to do her that sweet violence all boys and girls with any sense would die to do. But where she lay left. And Rose and rushed away to stop the dusky small eyed boy he might have stopped another day. And naked long Leander when the Thames the Avon and the cam and wet in Charing white in cold appeared upon the Purell threshold of the roll when the site did move to fear to pity and love. For
such a child the people time when any man in any would wish shaggy like a goat and stood on hooves and used his lusty strait to blow through strolls of different plate bound all together. Or could ride a horse you never need this dry for such a child. That distant time was close as apple trees to climb and apples crashed among the trees half Baldwin. His spirit. Of thought. Now I think I must see what time it is because we're all supposed to go and see the exhibit or what I was going to say was this I think that my vacation of my reading you know and of the sea has to do with well on the library I need my papers to live.
But this had to do with the fact that my sister is the 22nd of February February and that's why you had such a lovely long weekend. UNA. Well. It seems that that's not quite so. That view Washington has priority in Washington D.C. I just told them. And so this is the nearest they could come of it. They would be twenty six. But anyway I wanted you to know that. Now all of these points are good. I'd love to read everyone to feel for some reason or other they're interesting but I can't do that. If one would like to. It's not down there so I can't find it. I don't even know. Karl please. Carol Jones in the audience look up amorphous is the
mind for me. She's very helpful but she's sitting up there pretty funny. What page. For 27 years one. All right. What. When I get a sense I have no pencil I will remember you remind me when I get through this. This is one of the later times. We've gone too far. We do not know how to start the impetus is all we have and we share it with the pushed you know that. We are clever we are as clever as monkeys and some of us have intellect which is our danger but we lack intelligence
and have forgotten instinct. Progress progress is the dirtiest word in the language. Whoever told us it made us believe it. That you take a step forward was necessarily was always a good idea. In this unlighted cave. One step forward that step can be the dung step into the abyss. But we we have no sense of direction and impetus is all we have. We do not proceed. We only roll down the mountain like this to balance the boulders crushing before us. Many delicate springing things whose plan it was to grow. William not to. Know. Thank you. I got two pages at once interrupted the points are clever we are and inventive but not creative thought to create one must
decide on the selves must decide what form what color what sex how many petals five or more than five. All less than five. But we. We decide nothing. The bland opportunity presents itself and we embrace it. We are so grateful when something happens which is not directly wall. For we think although of course now we very seldom clearly thing that the other side of wall is teeth. We have no sense. We only roll downhill. Peace is the temporary beautiful ignorance that wall somewhere progresses. T. I think I should read once a week when up to there. Before I go into epitaph for the race of man don't you.
Know. 490 What was it for 19. When I KNOW I LIKE this point at a meeting. This gives you a little break to. Take advantage of it. Amorphous is the mind its quality is in its fiber. Not its form if you desire to fly. It puts on wings awkwardly not like a bird at first but later. The rustle of a thing half heard can twisted as iron at times is twisted by a wind storm or word after word
can pummel it for hours yet leave it like a leaf on a still day. But a man's head it cleans and he will wear tomorrow but today he has the mind is happy in the air happy to be up there with learning feathers but the man loads the mind cries up all are all happy try to file fly. Look I can lift you. But he smothers its crime out of fear if and fear of next year's feathers. He closed it in last year's thing and tries his best to button across the keel shaped breasts. A coat knob dug by new wings. I think now I will read the epitaph.
I know two of the boys which I think I know by heart. I was told I should stand here on account of this thing. I'm not even sure what. I'm not even sure it's on. Is it dead. How about for you. The. Man said leave it where it is but always feel that makes me feel good to do something. What. This is a sequence of silence. You wouldn't know there was a song it's of the end unless I told you because they don't just go by and stop with idiot. If they did I
couldn't read them. Before this cooling planet shall be cold. Long long before the music of the liar. Like the faint role of distant breakers rolled on reefs unseen when wind and flood conspire to drive the ship in straw. Long long I say before this ominous humming hits the. Earth. Will have come upon a still a day man and his engines be no longer here high on his naked rock the mountain sheeple stand alone against the final sky drinking a wind of danger a new wind deep staring on the go with a piercing eye and gather up his slender hooves and leap from crag to crag down chaos. And so go by. When death was young and bleaching bones were few
and moving healed against the reason day the dinosaur that morning made his way and dropped his dun upon the blazing do. Trees with no name that now an agate. Grew lushly beside him in the steamy clay. He woke up and hungered rose and stalked his prey and slept contented. In a word he knew in punctual season with a racing mind his console held aside her heavy tale and took the seed and her the seed couldn't find rawer her womb. And made a nest. To hold a hatched out conqueror. But to no avail. The vein then fertile eggs are long since cold. Cretaceous bird the Ord giant claw. No line from bark of holly bruise or mistletoe could have arrested could have helped who saw through 50 million years of just playing time
yet cradled with you in the Catholic's line with the young ocean's tepid laps and flow slumbered an agent we can embryo should grip you straightly in its senior way. Prime what. The right collision in the zodiac cruise. What mischief dimples at the planet's core for shark. For Python for the dull of the who is under the leaves. What rusty fates in store for the warm blooded man man out of who has but lately crawled and climbing up the shore. Oh. Unhappy planet blown to die. Might I your Scriabin your confessor be. What wonders must you not relate to me of man. Who when his destiny was high strode like the sun into the middle sky and shone an hour.
And who so bright is he. And like the sun. Went down into the sea leaving no spot to be remembered by. You have done learned in all these years to tell the leopard and the new man with this singular laughter his droll teaches his engines and his conscience and his art made but a simple sound. Is the patient beating of the animal. When man is gone and only God's remained astride the world then mighty bodies hung with golden shields and golden curls out flying above the childish forwards. When the plain round skull of man is lifted and again abandoned by the ebbing wave among the sand and pebbles of the beach. What Tun will tell the marvel of the human brain.
Heavy with music words. This windy shale. Heavy with knowledge of the cluster of stars. The one time tenant of the tenant of this draftee Hall himself in learned pamphlet that fortell after some EON's of study jogged by was this tooth the goal should this head. Emptied of all. See we're a capella with a golden kid's grazes the slope between the east and not the dust when the builders of the pyramids flung down their tools at nightfall and poured forth homeward to supper and the poor man's bed shortening the road with friendly jest and the reason she go showing blue and red climbed the clear dust. And three stars followed her. Safe in their linen and their spices lie the kings of Egypt even as long ago under these constellations with
long and scented limbs they slept and feared no foe. Their will was law. Their will was not to die. And so they had their way all nearly so.
Library of Congress lectures II
Episode Number
Episode 9 of 9
Producing Organization
WUOM (Radio station : Ann Arbor, Mich.)
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Series Description
For series info, see Item 3701. This prog.: Norma Millay reads from the Collected Poems of her sister, Edna St. Vincent Millay.
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Producer: Library of Congress
Producing Organization: WUOM (Radio station : Ann Arbor, Mich.)
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University of Maryland
Identifier: 68-40-9 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:28:42
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Chicago: “Library of Congress lectures II; Episode 9 of 9,” 1968-10-31, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed July 13, 2024,
MLA: “Library of Congress lectures II; Episode 9 of 9.” 1968-10-31. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. July 13, 2024. <>.
APA: Library of Congress lectures II; Episode 9 of 9. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from