This Saturday: Evoking the Poetry of Groundbreakers

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Edna St. Vincent Millay

Edna St. Vincent Millay

The centerpiece of the new Groundbreakers exhibit is naturally the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory and its interpretation of The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Garden in Maine, but the exhibit continues throughout the Garden grounds. There is much to enjoy outdoors under the bright May sun, and the Groundbreakers Poetry Walk offers moments of reflection to those who stroll through the Perennial Garden and beyond. Occasionally, as on this Saturday, May 24, we set aside some time for a live reading with one of poetry’s greats—one such as Eavan Boland.

This year’s poetry displays honor the spirit of Groundbreaking women from the early 20th Century with the works of Edna St. Vincent Millay, the third woman to ever win the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. Her eloquent writing captures the beauty of nature while evoking the cultural triumphs of the era she lived in alongside the Groundbreakers celebrated in the exhibit. Millay was a fascinating figure and poetry aficionados and history buffs alike will not want to miss out on this Saturday’s Groundbreakers Poetry Reading. Click through for details about Millay’s life, and more on this exciting poetry event!

Edna St. Vincent Millay was born in Rockland, Maine, not far from where Beatrix Farrand would ultimately lay out the famous Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Garden. The rustic northeastern landscape that so inspired Farrand defined the formative years of this bright young writer. After graduating Vassar she became a fixture in the bohemian scene of Greenwich Village and her words captured the vitality of the Jazz Age. As an iconoclastic woman who moved between the serene Maine coast and New York in the Roaring Twenties, no other poet could better capture the personality of Groundbreakers.

Groundbreakers Poetry Walk in the Perennial Garden

On May 24, prominent feminist poet Eavan Boland will read works by Edna St. Vincent Millay, and discuss their meaning and historical context in Ross Hall. Irish by birth, Boland was as precocious as Millay, having published her first collection—1962′s 23 Poems—when she was just 18. Best known for subverting traditional constructions of womanhood and offering fresh perspectives on Irish history and mythology, she has earned international recognition over the course of seven published volumes of poetry, traveling the U.S. and Ireland as a poet, anthologist, and teaching scholar.

Mrs. Rockefeller's Garden Enid A. Haupt Conservatory

Memorial Day Weekend is the perfect opportunity to enjoy the Garden, and to honor a glorious part of American history with the art of poetry and landscape. Plan your visit and get tickets before they sell out!

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