Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Finding Edna and Winifred in the Antique Shop

I was in an antique shop, called Dappled Gray Antiques, in the downtown section of my suburb in St. Louis. The “dappled gray” came from a carousel horse in the window, and the shop was filled with both antiques and stuff that was old if not valuable. I ignored the stuff, antique or not, and found my way to the back, where the bookcases were filled with old books.

Edna St. Vincent Millay
The books were generally of two kinds. Most obvious and most beautiful were sets from the 19th century, like Ulysses Grant’s Autobiography (published by Mark Twain), William Prescott’s three-volume Ferdinand and Isabella (eighth edition published in 1841), and Theodore Mommsen’s four-volume History of Rome (1868). The second category of books were fiction and poetry from the late 19th and early 20th century.

None of the books were outrageously expensive, as most were not first or even second editions. The Ferdinand and Isabella set was $75 and the Grant Autobiography was $35. The individual novels and poetry books, priced considerably less than the sets, were all hardbacks; the shop didn’t handle paperbacks.

Looking through the shelves, I saw a small, slim little volume entitled The Buck in the Snow and Other Poems. The poet was Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950), and this volume was the sixth edition published in 1928.

To continue reading, please see my post today at TweetspeakPoetry.

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