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Analysis and comments on First Fig by Edna St. Vincent Millay

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Comment 10 of 18, added on March 11th, 2011 at 12:47 AM.
First Fig

There is perhaps another perspective worth considering. Is this poem truly
intended to be a celebration of a life that burns brightly for friend and
foe to see; albeit moving much too quickly toward an end. Or Perhaps, it
may that she is revealing her angst concerning the brevity of life and the
impending darkenss of the unknown (death). A darkness that would appear
even darker when the brighter light of a candle burning at both ends has
been spent. In her day, when you retired for the night and blew out the
candle, you were enveloped by the darkness of your room, a disquieting
moment prior to falling away into sleep. Most poets, e.g. Frost, Sanburg,
etc. place as much emphasis on the brevity and ending of life as they do
the living of life. I feel a certain degree of angst, when reading this
poem and that may be its intent; her actual purpose in penning it!

Dave from United States
Comment 9 of 18, added on September 28th, 2010 at 5:16 PM.
"My candle burns at both ends..."

Well, Ms. St. Vincent Millay may not have written the first line as "I burn
my candle at both ends...," but she should have, since with that wording it
scans perfectly in iambic tetrameter, whereas the wording she chose does
not scan at all, though the addition of one word, "its," as in "My candle
burns at both its ends..." would have corrected the flaw in poetics, and
would have made the entire poem formally consistent: a line of iambic
tetrameter, a line of iambic trimeter, another line of iambic tetrameter,
and a final line of iambic trimeter. Neat, symmetrical and, to my ear,
esthetically pleasing.

Conway Redding from United States

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Information about First Fig

Poet: Edna St. Vincent Millay
Poem: First Fig
Added: Feb 21 2003
Viewed: 3990 times

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