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Friday, July 26, 2013

Steepletop

Poet Edna St. Vincent Millay's House at Steepletop

Several years ago, I read Savage Beauty, a biography of poet Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950).  Quite the interesting woman!  That led to a trip to Steepletop, her homestead in Austerlitz which is on Route 22, just a bit south of Route 90.  At the time, her house was still being restored so you couldn't go in.  Instead, we enjoyed the Poet's Walk, and filed away a "to do" to visit the house when it was reopened -- which it now has, though two of the rooms are still in progress.

Whenever possible, I sign up for guided tours or audio tours of such places.  I figure if I'm going to invest time and money into visiting these places, I ought to really visit them.  So I signed up for both the house tour and the gardens tour.  It was well worth it.  Bob, a retired actor, gave a terrific tour of the house and Peter, the Executive Director of Steepletop, gave a wonderful tour of the gardens and grounds.


This door led into Enda's outdoor bar and swimming pool.  If you broke the rule that you couldn't enter here without shedding your clothes, you were not invited back to Steepletop.  Like I said, a rather "interesting" woman. Read the biography.


The swimming pool.  What looks like chopped off trees were actually arborvitae that overgrew.


Millay's austere (inside and out) writing cabin.


Nice gardens

Bust of Edna St. Vincent Millay by HP Erskine
Edna was not fond of this bust.



Millay and her husband, owned over 700 acres of some of the prettiest land you'll ever want to see.  And quiet -- just what a poet needs.


Beautiful poetry was conjured up on this bench.


Edna's tennis court.

Visit Steepletop!

Read by the poet herself, Edna St. Vincent Millay

At her peak, Millay was a veritable rock star, filling up venues like the Hollywood Bowl.





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