Item #021004 ARCHIVE OF FOUR AUTOGRAPH LETTERS (ALs) to Fellow Pulitzer Prize-Winning Poet and Lover George Dillon. Edna St. Vincent MILLAY.

ARCHIVE OF FOUR AUTOGRAPH LETTERS (ALs) to Fellow Pulitzer Prize-Winning Poet and Lover George Dillon

New York, Austerlitz and Paris: 1928-1929. Letter. Four unsigned handwritten love letters from Edna St. Vincent Millay to George Dillon, totaling 17 pages on 11 sheets in ink and pencil, with 4 envelopes addressed by Millay, dated 1928-1929. The first letter dated 17 December 1928, in part: “So you will kill the dragon for me, will you, my St George? -- Oh, I am sure you will! -- For have you not this moment slain with that blade whose name is Mightier-Than-The-Sword that most noble & imposing monster, two-headed scaly DOUBT, that has been steaming at me for so many hours now with his great mephitic breath? Oh, lord, what fun it is to be happy again, & to be writing romantic ardent nonsense to the only infant dragon-killer since Hercules wore didies! --And oh how proud I shall be in a month or so, stepping the streets of Paris, the only woman in the whole fashionable town with shoes & hat & hand-bag of genuine dragon-skin!... You must not say the poem you sent is not lovely -- For it is. It is I who tell you. And I know a great deal about such matters. The last line of it nearly took my breath away forever -- so beautiful, -- and about me." The second, postmarked 29 December, 1928, in part: “It is true that my life is full, and full of wonder and excitement, that every day of my life is splendid. But don’t you know, or did I forget to tell you, how big a part of my life you are?... My lovely thing, my darling, darling -- don’t be apprehensive that I am trying in desperation to change your passionate love for me into something less -- into simple friendship, I mean, -- which is less. Someday, perhaps, we shall be friends -- but I hope the day is far off when you feel only friendship for me.... I love you too much, in every possible way, to want to change in the slightest detail or degree what you feel for me.... You must come to Steepletop [in Austerlitz, New York]. And you must come as soon as possible, and stay as long as possible. You must arrange it with your employer in some way.... I don’t want you [to] run the risk of losing your job.... Tell him it is a matter of life & death -- which is the truth.... I want to show you the tiny pool we built, absurd, nothing at all, & the hut in the blueberry pasture where I wrote the KING’S HENCHMAN. I want to sit on the edge of your bed while you have your breakfast -- I want to laugh with you, dress up in curtains, be incredibly silly, be incredibly happy, be like children, and I want to kiss you more than anything in the world.” The third, written in pencil from Paris on 25 April 1929, in part: "I am writing you on a page of the note-books in which I write the sonnets to you. Almost all the sonnets are in this book. Your photograph is in it too now, darling, stuck in between the pages.... I think about you & dream about you & long painfully to see you -- but I haven’t written to tell you so and I am afraid I have hurt you and made you feel uncertain and upset about me.... How we torture each other! -- When we love each other so! -- but it [is] cruel not to have time to write? -- I have never been so spun about in my life as I have been this time. I have such a short time here, & I know so many people over here, thousands, particularly in Paris, & everybody wants to give a party, & I’m swept from Armenonville in the Bois to a terrifying little dive on the left bank called Oubliettes Rouges or some such thing, full of subterranean torture chambers, -- but real ones!, & real skeletons, where one drinks creme de menthe, awful stuff -- I hate it -- through a straw, & listens to a girl who sings over & over a song about Le Temps Perdu! And after that everybody goes some place to dance, or we all drink quarts of champagne, or presently I begin to sing aloud the words of all the songs the orchestra is playing, even when I don't know them very well, or pretty soon we all go for a drive in the Bois. That’s a fair sample of one night here. And all day long I shop, & between shops I sit at a table on the boulevard with my head in my hand, while somebody feeds me brandy & soda, & when the last shop is closed I stagger to a taxi & am wheeled to my hotel, entering my room just in time to hear the telephone ringing or explain why I’m late to something or other. -- There! -- So will you please forgive me & love me still & not hate me at all? -- It will be May when you get this letter, & in less than a month then we shall see each other. And then everything will be all right. The moment I see your face everything will be all right. But, oh, five months is a bitterly long time.” In the final letter, dated 8 October 1929, she expresses a sense of defeat with regard to their lapses in communication: “Darling, it’s no use, this never writing to you and never hearing from you. It’s no good. Letters are often cruel, but they are not as cruel as silence.... It is painful being out of touch with you like this. Please write me, my dear. Do you still love me? I still love you.” The fact that Millay was married, or 14 years older than Dillon, did not stop her from pursuing an intimate relationship with the young poet. They remained close friends even after their romance cooled, and in 1936 collaborated in the publication of a group of translations of Baudelaire’s FLOWERS OF EVIL. Although several letters by Millay to Dillon are in LETTERS OF EDNA ST. VINCENT MILLAY edited by Allan Ross Macdougall (Harper & Brothers, 1952), none before 1935 during Millay's romance with Dillon are included. Very Good to Fine, with the pencil letter a bit fragile, showing trimmed edges, creasing, and fold splits. Item #021004

Price: $17,500.00