For whatever reason, when I give this to my students they do not get it. This seemingly simple idea is a mystery to them. Perhaps it is their emerging abstract thinking, or maybe the concrete teaching they have gotten up to this poem.
I don’t know if he was inspired by this poem or just the cliche of “burning the candle at both ends”, but artist and photographer Terry Border produced this photo. It’s called “Busy, Busy, Busy”.
If you go to the Wired Magazine piece, or the artist’s blog, some of the photos are great, and some are really inappropriate. You can tell I’ve been teaching middle school too long as my first thought on seeing this photo wasn’t “Edna St. Vincent Milay” but what my roomate in college called “blue flames”.
Edna St. Vincent Milay
My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends–
It gives a lovely light!