Early Poems by Edna St. Vincent Millay
(Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics)

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Synopsis



Millay's first three books of lyrics and sonnets are collected here: Renascence, Second April, and A Few Figs from Thistles. With a balanced and appreciative introduction and useful annotations, this volume presents some of the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet's best work in which she weaves intellect, emotion, and irony.


 

About Edna St. Vincent Millay

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Edna St. Vincent Millay was born in Maine and graduated from Vassar College in 1917. She then joined the Provincetown Players, acting many leading roles, including those of her own plays. Like most of her Greenwich Village peers, the poet lived a poor but happy existence. Her earliest poem, "Renascence," written when she was 19, first appeared in "The Lyric Year" (1912), an anthology of competitive poems. Its philosophy marked it as one of the most thoughtful poems in the collection. Although known among literary circles for her early work, she did not become well known among the general reading public until the publication of her second work, "A Few Figs From Thistles" (1920). She was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1923 for "The Ballad of the Harp Weaver." As the bohemian spokeswoman for early twentieth-century youth, she won further fame with her poetry of love and gaiety and longing and death, especially her sonnets. The delight in beauty and nature and the wonders of the world are recurring themes in her early works. As Millay approached her middle years, her writing became more serious, especially when war erupted in Europe. Among her works at this time are "Make Bright the Arrow" (1940) and "Collected Sonnets" (1941). Millay married Eugen Boissevain, a New York importer, in 1923. Shortly after, they purchased a farm in upstate New York, which they called Steepletop after an abundant wildflower in the region. Millay lived here for the rest of her life, composing some of her finest work in a little shack separate from the main house.
 
Published December 1, 1998 by Penguin Classic. 242 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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