Friday, October 01, 2010

Poetry Friday: I Burn my Candle

I burn my candle at both ends,
It will not last the night.
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends,
It gives a lovely light.

Edna St. Vincent Millay

We've had electrical problems this week, brought on by the freak storm which hit Port-au-Prince last Friday afternoon. (I blogged about it here, here and here.) We have a generator, but it hasn't been working properly, and by Tuesday night we were down to candles. On Wednesday night, the power came back on, and we were thrilled.

Candles are so beautiful, and they burn out so quickly. Kind of like our lives. They will be over soon, but we have the chance to be a light now, to make someone else's life easier or to achieve something wonderful. And burning is what a candle is for.

Here's today's Poetry Friday roundup.

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Jennie said...

Oh, I love Edna St. Vincent Millay. Thank you for sharing this one!

david elzey said...

two things. first, i came across this poem in middle school and haven't forgot it. why? is it the cleverness of "owning" that candle-burning, or simply that it is easy to memorize and thus like a charm you can carry in your pocket all the time.

second, your last line 'and buring is what a candle is for' is a great coda. it feels like it belongs in the poem somehow.

nicely said, thanks for sharing, and best of luck with the power.

Andromeda Jazmon said...

I agree with David - "your last line 'and buring is what a candle is for' is a great coda." It takes away the guilt I usually feel at reading this poem and makes me realize that burning is praising and doing what we were made to do. So I'm all right now! Thanks.

Author Amok said...

It's such an evocative poem. Millay was fascinating -- there's a great bio on her called Savage Beauty.

Mary Lee said...

I often (TOO often) burn my candle at both ends, and I need to make sure it's giving off "a lovely light" and not just using up the wax of my time here on earth...

laurasalas said...

Thanks for sharing this one, which I love. Burning is what a candle is for...sounds like the opening of a poem:>)