Burning the Candle at Both Ends

Edna St. Vincent Millay in 1914

This short poem is representative of the turbulent life of its author, Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950). Until an auto accident left her in deep pain and dependent on morphine, Millay had lived an interesting and often promiscuous life.

Figs from Thistles: First Fig

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!