'And to-morrow and to-morrow and to-morrow and to-morrow'

Ashes of Life
by Edna St. Vincent Millay

Ashes of Life
By Edna St. Vincent Millay

Love has gone and left me and the days are all alike;
Eat I must, and sleep I will, — and would that night were here!
But ah! — to lie awake and hear the slow hours strike!
Would that it were day again! — with twilight near!

Love has gone and left me and I don't know what to do;
This or that or what you will is all the same to me;
But all the things that I begin I leave before I'm through, —
There's little use in anything as far as I can see.

Love has gone and left me, — and the neighbors knock and borrow,
And life goes on forever like the gnawing of a mouse, —
And to-morrow and to-morrow and to-morrow and to-morrow
There's this little street and this little house.


Poem as Friend to Laura

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Ashes of Lifeby Edna St. Vincent Millay

In this episode, Laura Wade talks about the poem that has been a friend to her – 'Ashes of Life' by Edna St. Vincent Millay.

We are very grateful to Laura for allowing us to share this conversation with you.

Laura visited The Poetry Exchange in London. She is in conversation with The Poetry Exchange team members, Michael Shaeffer and Fiona Bennett.

Laura Wade is an Olivier award winning playwright and screenwriter. Her National Theatre play HOME, I’M DARLING premiered at Theatr Clwyd in 2018 before playing at the National, where it received rave reviews. HOME, I’M DARLING won the award for Best New Comedy at the 2019 Oliviers.

Laura’s screenplay THE RIOT CLUB, an adaptation of her acclaimed 2010 stage play POSH, opened in cinemas on September 2014. The film is directed by Lone Scherfig and stars Max Irons, Sam Claflin and Douglas Booth.

Laura has also adapted Sarah Waters’ TIPPING THE VELVET for the stage and in 2018, Laura adapted Jane Austen’s unfinished novel THE WATSONS for the stage for Chichester Festival Theatre.

You can find out more about Edna St. Vincent Millay and read more of her poetry at the Poetry Foundation: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/edna-st-vincent-millay

Ashes of Life is read by Laura at the beginning of the conversation, with the gift reading of the poem by Fiona Bennett.


We talk to people about the poem that has been a friend to them.

In exchange we create a gift for them, a bespoke reading of their chosen poem inspired by the conversation. Our award-winning podcast shares these unique and powerful stories of connection with people across the world. 


We set up an intimate environment for these conversations at festivals, in arts, cultural and public spaces across the country. We also hold exchanges ‘long distance’. Our visitors come from all walks of life and we also feature well-known personalities such as Andrew Scott, Maxine Peake, Roy McFarlane and Paterson Joseph.