Edna St. Vincent Millay is not a name that we often hear in today’s modern world of literature and poetry. The popularity of Edna St. Vincent Millay’s poetry waned after World War II and the turn of the century. Millay’s writings, however, have lasting influential effects on current American literature. Edna St. Vincent Millay has impacted American culture because of her feminist writings, including “First Fig,” her Pulitzer Prize win, and her poetry during World War II, including “The Murder of Lidice”.
Edna St. Vincent Millay has created complex as well as emotionally and politically charged poetry in her career. Her poetry is often considered expressive yet also indifferent by some critics. Yet, her skill with metaphor and other evocative poetic features bring us poems that are reflective of her self, and also ourselves as readers. By developing skilled metaphors for interpreting and developing her own identity as an author and for us as a reader, we are given a construction of selfhood. In this essay, I will analyze Edna St. Vincent Millay’s two poems; If I should learn, in some quite casual way, and What lips my lips have kissed in order to explain the meaning and presence of selfhood in lyric poetry. Through interpreting Millay’s poems, I will explain the construction of selfhood or identity in each poem through formal structures. Understanding selfhood comes with understanding one’s surroundings and how we are able to relate or compare ourselves to these surroundings. Edna St. Vincent Millay does a very complete job of bringing metaphor, narrative, diction and imagery to h...
Edna St. Vincent Millay, a poet and playwrite, was best known for her lyrical poetry. She wrote many poems, on topics such as love, fidelity, erotic desire, and feminist issues. The part of Millay that wasn’t highly publicized is that she addressed herself as a bisexual and had many affairs with woman before her marriage. It is not said if she continued sexual involments with women after her marriage (though it is quite possible), nor it is not said which of her poems are written about women rather than men.
Edna St. Vincent Millay was an American poet and a very skilled writer of sonnets during the twentieth century. She combines modernist outlooks with old fashioned forms thus producing very unique poetry. The “What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why” (Millay) is an Italian sonnet that uses many aspects to express a meaning. Through the poem, Millay uses many metaphors, has a good structure and moods; seasonal imagery is also evident in this sonnet. She expresses the love she had and the desolation she went through with a sad conclusion. The poem has two essential themes that are change and loss. Change in the poem can suggest past moments where youth vanishes and so are bygone the memories and feelings. Loss is stressed is the loss of love, time, memory and loss of lives, but it’s mostly
In this book, the audience follows a Victorian Era New Orleans resident, Edna. Nevertheless, throughout the story we see that Edna is struggling between two desires; the desire to be loved and the desire to be free and independent of men. This conflict of desires illuminates the meaning of the work to show that in that time period, a woman’s independence or love both come at a price, and that they were mutually exclusive.
Edna St. Vincent Millay Her career that spanned three decades and her work that ranges from lyrics to verse play and political commentary. Edna St. Vincent Millay is mostly known for her earlier works, such as "Renascence", Few Figs Thistles, and Second April. Millay wrote about things such as mystical views on the universe, god, death, celebration of feminism, and free love. It's almost as if she was a writer from today and with that, I believe that she would be comfortable with today's free America.
The poem is delightfully accessible in its directness, yet is balanced with the rich similes in the last two stanzas. The images of the bird and the ocean serve as illustrations of the speaker’s main point, placed in the middle of the poem, in the second stanza: “He / sees deep and is glad, who / accedes to mortality…“ (10-12). This is the keystone of the poem, that which blends the first stanza with the last. Even the math seems to work out. There are three stanzas, the first being different in approach than the third, and the second stanza has half of each technique—three stanzas divided by two approaches, equals one and a half, the length given to question/directness and imagery/simile. ...
Born in Rockland, Maine in the year 1892 Edna St. Vincent Millay was the daughter of Cora Buzzelle Millay and Henry Tolman Millay. Millays parents divorced when she was 8 and she was raised by her mother who inspired many of her works. Millay was a very independent child and published poetry by the time she was a teen. Millay had gained recognition as a poet and writer by her mid-twenties. She wrote poems about love, sorrow, death, and everlasting nature. Millay also completed many plays and short fiction works underneath the name Nancy Boyd. As Millay got older she married a man named Eugene Jan Boissevain in 1923. She had devoted a sonnet in memory of his first wife who was also an idol of Millays. Millay had an open marriage and many sexual partners.
At the beginning of the poem, the speaker starts by telling the reader the place, time and activity he is doing, stating that he saw something that he will always remember. His description of his view is explained through simile for example “Ripe apples were caught like red fish in the nets of their branches” (Updike), captivating the reader’s attention