The Poet Named for a Building

Edna St. Vincent Millay at Vassar College

Yesterday was the birthday of Edna St. Vincent Millay, American lyrical poet, playwright and feminist.  Born in 1892, she was named, not for a Catholic saint (as it would seem), but for a hospital.  Just before her birth, her uncle’s life was saved at St. Vincent’s Hospital in New York; in appreciation of the uncle's recovery, her family made "St. Vincent" her middle name.From her youth, Millay’s talent for writing was evident:  As a student at Camden High School, she wrote for the school’s l … [Read more...]

THE POETRY OF FAITH: Once Upon a Time, Belief Was Normative


Doesn't it sometimes seem that you were meant to live in a different age?  That the world has turned and somehow, you didn't get the memo?I ran across an article on "The Poetry of Faith" which appeared in Time Magazine.  Published on July 1, 1946, it offered a thumbs-up review of a new anthology of Catholic poetry by the British poet Alfred Noyes.  "The greatest writing in human history," said Time, "is religious writing."  Oh, how I ache for my beloved Church to be once again held in such hi … [Read more...]

THE CANOPY AND THE COSMOS: What Kilmer Knew, What Sagan Never Dreamed

Today, December 6, is the birthday of Joyce Kilmer.Alfred Joyce Kilmer (December 6, 1886 – July 30, 1918) was an American journalist, poet, literary critic, and editor.  He was considered the leading Catholic poet and lecturer of his generation, and was compared to G.K. Chesterton and Hilaire Belloc.  He died too young, at age 31, leaving his fans to wonder what else he might have accomplished had he lived.  A sergeant in the 165th U.S. Infantry Regiment during World War I, Kilmer was killed … [Read more...]