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February 25th, 2017 - we have 234 poets, 8,025 poems and 321,221 comments.
Biography of Edna St. Vincent Millay

Edna St. Vincent Millay

Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892 - 1950)

Edna St. Vincent Millay, born in 1892 in Maine, grew to become one of the premier twentieth-century lyric poets. She was also an accomplished playwright and speaker who often toured giving readings of her poetry. All of that was in her public life, but her private life was equally interesting. An unconventional childhood led into an unconventional adulthood. She was an acknowledged bisexual who carried on many affairs with women, an affection for which is sometimes evident in her poems and plays. She did marry, but even that part of her life was somewhat unusual, with the marriage being quite open, and extramarital affairs, though not documented, are quite probable.

At the young age of seven, Edna's mother asked her husband to leave the family home. After that point he held a negligible role in the girl's life. Edna and her two sisters moved, with their mother, to Newburyport, Massachusetts where, to Edna's delight, she was given piano lessons. Edna (who insisted on being called Vincent and who even entered writing contests under that name) and her sisters were encouraged in their literary and musical leanings by their mother. Then, in highschool, Millay's interests expanded to include theater. She performed in numerous plays and wrote a Halloween play for her classmates to act out.

Millay enjoyed her free-spirited childhood and adolescence and the creativity that it inspired. At the age of twenty, she entered her poem "Renascence" into a poetry contest for the The Lyric Year, a contest from which 100 poems were to be chosen to be published. It was, at first, overlooked as being too simplistic, however, one of the judges took a second look at it and the poem, now one of her most well known, ended up winning fourth place. It was that poem which really started her on her literary career, beginning with a scholarship to the then all female college of Vassar.

Millay kept up her writing, both poetic and dramatic while at Vassar. It was during this time that she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for her book The Harp-Weaver and other Poems. Also during her college career she broadened her sexual horizons to include relationships with women. The most notable of these affairs was one with the English actress Wynne Matthison. Matthison was not the only woman she was involved with, though, and she kept in contact with some of them throughout her life.

Millay's first book of poetry, Renascence and Other Poems was published in 1917 and well received. Then A Few Figs from Thistles was published in 1922 and sparked some attention as well as controversy with its feminist leanings. In particular the poems within maintained that the sexual freedom formerly commandeered by men was equally valid for women. This feeling is particularly obvious in the sonnet beginning "What lips my lips have kissed,".

Keep in mind that all of this was accomplished during Millay's college years! After graduation the woman moved to Greenwich Village in New York, a particularly free-thinking and artistic borough. She kept up her writing as well as her involvements with women, but also began to take men as lovers though it would seem that none of them were able to "sway" her from her natural lesbian leanings. The following paragraph is quoted from another web page dedicated to Edna St. Vincent Millay, which is located at Sappho.com.

In Great Companions, Max Eastman relates an interesting story about Millay that, if true, reveals something of her attitude about own sexuality. According to Eastman, while at a cocktail party Millay discussed her recurrent headaches with a psychologist. He asked her, "I wonder if it has ever occurred to you that you might perhaps, although you are hardly conscious of it, have an occasional impulse toward a person of your own sex?" She responded, "Oh, you mean I'm homosexual! Of course I am, and heterosexual, too, but what's that got to do with my headache?"

Millay did eventually marry Eugen Boissevain, who managed her career and was a great source of support. The marriage, as mentioned above, was agreed to be open and Millay herself said that they maintained their personal freedom, living more as great friends than as husband and wife. Millay, a smoker in an age of smokers, succumbed to her failure in 1950 at her home, Steepletop, in Austerlitz New York. Boissevain, who was considerably older, had died the previous year.



165 Poems written by Edna St. Vincent Millay

The poems are by default sorted according to volume, but you can also choose to sort them alphabetically or by page views.

Volume | Alphabetically | [Page Views] | Comments | First Lines


Page ViewsPoemComments
38845 What Lips My Lips Have Kissed, And Where, And Why (Sonnet XLIII) Comments and analysis of What Lips My Lips Have Kissed, And Where, And Why (Sonnet XLIII) by Edna St. Vincent Millay 555 Comments
20575 I Know I Am But Summer To Your Heart Comments and analysis of I Know I Am But Summer To Your Heart by Edna St. Vincent Millay 20 Comments
16924 Sonnet 02: Time Does Not Bring Relief; You All Have Lied Comments and analysis of Sonnet 02: Time Does Not Bring Relief; You All Have Lied by Edna St. Vincent Millay 46 Comments
16505 Spring Comments and analysis of Spring by Edna St. Vincent Millay 222 Comments
16073 Pity Me Not Because The Light Of Day Comments and analysis of Pity Me Not Because The Light Of Day by Edna St. Vincent Millay 13 Comments
15361 I Shall Forget You Presently Comments and analysis of I Shall Forget You Presently by Edna St. Vincent Millay 472 Comments
15326 Renascence Comments and analysis of Renascence by Edna St. Vincent Millay 55 Comments
15274 First Fig Comments and analysis of First Fig by Edna St. Vincent Millay 51 Comments
15074 Prayer To Persephone Comments and analysis of Prayer To Persephone by Edna St. Vincent Millay 29 Comments
14776 A Visit To The Asylum Comments and analysis of A Visit To The Asylum by Edna St. Vincent Millay 102 Comments
13953 Second Fig Comments and analysis of Second Fig  by Edna St. Vincent Millay 105 Comments
13730 I Think I Should Have Loved You Comments and analysis of I Think I Should Have Loved You by Edna St. Vincent Millay 10 Comments
13229 If I Should Learn, In Some Quite Casual Way Comments and analysis of If I Should Learn, In Some Quite Casual Way by Edna St. Vincent Millay 20 Comments
12838 Afternoon On A Hill Comments and analysis of Afternoon On A Hill by Edna St. Vincent Millay 300 Comments
12147 Not In A Silver Casket Cool With Pearls Comments and analysis of Not In A Silver Casket Cool With Pearls by Edna St. Vincent Millay 66 Comments
11903 Being Young And Green Comments and analysis of Being Young And Green by Edna St. Vincent Millay 18 Comments
11620 God's World Comments and analysis of God's World by Edna St. Vincent Millay 242 Comments
11474 Justice Denied In Massachusetts Comments and analysis of Justice Denied In Massachusetts by Edna St. Vincent Millay 234 Comments
11299 Elegy Before Death Comments and analysis of Elegy Before Death by Edna St. Vincent Millay 43 Comments
11188 City Trees
10702 Journey Comments and analysis of Journey by Edna St. Vincent Millay 16 Comments
10477 Elegy Comments and analysis of Elegy by Edna St. Vincent Millay 3 Comments
10260 Ashes Of Life Comments and analysis of Ashes Of Life by Edna St. Vincent Millay 33 Comments
10159 Autumn Daybreak
10134 The Leaf And The Tree
10106 Feast Comments and analysis of Feast by Edna St. Vincent Millay 6 Comments
9841 The Dream Comments and analysis of The Dream by Edna St. Vincent Millay 264 Comments
9302 Alms Comments and analysis of Alms by Edna St. Vincent Millay 11 Comments
8969 Sonnet (Women Have Loved Before As I Love Now)
8968 Sonnet 06: Bluebeard Comments and analysis of Sonnet 06: Bluebeard by Edna St. Vincent Millay 233 Comments
8841 Second Fig Comments and analysis of Second Fig by Edna St. Vincent Millay 3 Comments
8808 Ode To Silence Comments and analysis of Ode To Silence by Edna St. Vincent Millay 3 Comments
8569 Sonnet 01: Thou Art Not Lovelier Than Lilacs,óNo Comments and analysis of Sonnet 01: Thou Art Not Lovelier Than Lilacs,óNo by Edna St. Vincent Millay 57 Comments
8489 Night Is My Sister, And How Deep In Love
8255 Witch-Wife Comments and analysis of Witch-Wife by Edna St. Vincent Millay 84 Comments
8136 Burial
8123 The Goose-Girl Comments and analysis of The Goose-Girl by Edna St. Vincent Millay 6 Comments
8029 Sweet Love, Sweet Thorn, When Lightly To My Heart Comments and analysis of Sweet Love, Sweet Thorn, When Lightly To My Heart by Edna St. Vincent Millay 36 Comments
7691 Assault Comments and analysis of Assault by Edna St. Vincent Millay 14 Comments
7276 Portrait By a Neighbor
7048 Indifference Comments and analysis of Indifference by Edna St. Vincent Millay 3 Comments
6982 Wild Swans Comments and analysis of Wild Swans by Edna St. Vincent Millay 1 Comment
6873 Sonnet 05: If I Should Learn, In Some Quite Casual Way Comments and analysis of Sonnet 05: If I Should Learn, In Some Quite Casual Way by Edna St. Vincent Millay 26 Comments
6803 Interim Comments and analysis of Interim by Edna St. Vincent Millay 2 Comments
6777 Rosemary Comments and analysis of Rosemary by Edna St. Vincent Millay 12 Comments
6745 When The Year Grows Old
6673 Epitaph
6668 To the Not Impossible Him Comments and analysis of To the Not Impossible Him by Edna St. Vincent Millay 10 Comments
6659 The Death Of Autumn
6655 Intention To Escape From Him
6604 The Snow Storm
6560 Eel-Grass Comments and analysis of Eel-Grass by Edna St. Vincent Millay 8 Comments
6411 Grown Up
6386 The True Encounter Comments and analysis of The True Encounter by Edna St. Vincent Millay 1 Comment
6376 Thursday Comments and analysis of Thursday by Edna St. Vincent Millay 3 Comments
6281 Love, Though for This
6237 Sonnets 07: When I Too Long Have Looked Upon Your Face
6226 Make Bright The Arrows Comments and analysis of Make Bright The Arrows by Edna St. Vincent Millay 55 Comments
6172 Weeds Comments and analysis of Weeds by Edna St. Vincent Millay 2 Comments
6128 Bluebeard Comments and analysis of Bluebeard by Edna St. Vincent Millay 1 Comment
6071 Sonnets 10: Oh, My Beloved, Have You Thought Of This Comments and analysis of Sonnets 10: Oh, My Beloved, Have You Thought Of This by Edna St. Vincent Millay 1 Comment
5967 Sonnets 06: No Rose That In A Garden Ever Grew
5947 Souvenir Comments and analysis of Souvenir by Edna St. Vincent Millay 3 Comments
5832 Inland
5796 Kin To Sorrow
5795 Not Even My Pride Shall Suffer Much
5736 The Curse
5726 MacDougal Street Comments and analysis of MacDougal Street by Edna St. Vincent Millay 32 Comments
5711 Menses Comments and analysis of Menses by Edna St. Vincent Millay 10 Comments
5497 Ebb
5489 To A Poet That Died Young
5438 First Fig Comments and analysis of First Fig by Edna St. Vincent Millay 29 Comments
5342 Fontaine, Je Ne Boirai Pas De Ton Eau! Comments and analysis of Fontaine, Je Ne Boirai Pas De Ton Eau! by Edna St. Vincent Millay 1 Comment
5336 Midnight Oil Comments and analysis of Midnight Oil by Edna St. Vincent Millay 5 Comments
5331 Midnight Oil Comments and analysis of Midnight Oil by Edna St. Vincent Millay 1 Comment
5270 Sonnets 09: Let You Not Say Of Me When I Am Old
5260 Daphne
5252 Think Not, Not For A Moment Let Your Mind
5176 To Kathleen
5147 To Those Without Pity
5084 Scrub Comments and analysis of Scrub by Edna St. Vincent Millay 4 Comments
5067 Blight
4910 Doubt No More That Oberon Comments and analysis of Doubt No More That Oberon by Edna St. Vincent Millay 1 Comment
4907 If Still Your Orchards Bear
4865 The Little Hill
4821 The Blue-Flag In The Bog Comments and analysis of The Blue-Flag In The Bog by Edna St. Vincent Millay 1 Comment
4789 The Wood Road Comments and analysis of The Wood Road by Edna St. Vincent Millay 1 Comment
4773 Mist In The Valley Comments and analysis of Mist In The Valley by Edna St. Vincent Millay 4 Comments
4769 Sonnets 12: Cherish You Then The Hope I Shall Forget
4654 The Singing-Woman From The Wood's Edge Comments and analysis of The Singing-Woman From The Wood's Edge by Edna St. Vincent Millay 226 Comments
4624 Memorial To D.C.
4609 The Betrothal
4586 The Merry Maid
4557 The Shroud Comments and analysis of The Shroud by Edna St. Vincent Millay 29 Comments
4511 Sonnets 02: Into The Golden Vessel Of Great Song Comments and analysis of Sonnets 02: Into The Golden Vessel Of Great Song by Edna St. Vincent Millay 10 Comments
4468 Invocation To The Muses
4465 The Return From Town Comments and analysis of The Return From Town by Edna St. Vincent Millay 2 Comments
4451 She is Overheard Singing Comments and analysis of She is Overheard Singing by Edna St. Vincent Millay 18 Comments
4432 The Penitent Comments and analysis of The Penitent by Edna St. Vincent Millay 16 Comments
4427 The Prisoner
4405 Tavern
4334 The Poet And His Book Comments and analysis of The Poet And His Book by Edna St. Vincent Millay 2 Comments
4106 Sonnet 04: Not In This Chamber Only At My Birth
4098 My Most Distinguished Guest And Learned Friend
4081 Daphne
4065 Lament Comments and analysis of Lament by Edna St. Vincent Millay 303 Comments
4042 Three Songs Of Shattering
3933 To S. M. Comments and analysis of To S. M. by Edna St. Vincent Millay 4 Comments
3849 Well, I Have Lost You Comments and analysis of Well, I Have Lost You by Edna St. Vincent Millay 306 Comments
3815 Sonnets 03: Not With Libations, But With Shouts And Laughter Comments and analysis of Sonnets 03: Not With Libations, But With Shouts And Laughter by Edna St. Vincent Millay 1 Comment
3796 Sonnets 11: As To Some Lovely Temple, Tenantless
3770 The Penitent
3595 Pastoral
3589 The Singing-Woman from the Wood's Edge
3543 The Fledgling
3507 The Unexplorer
3499 Modern Declaration Comments and analysis of Modern Declaration by Edna St. Vincent Millay 73 Comments
3174 Whereas At Morning In A Jeweled Crown Comments and analysis of Whereas At Morning In A Jeweled Crown by Edna St. Vincent Millay 1 Comment
3157 Sonnets 04: Only Until This Cigarette Is Ended Comments and analysis of Sonnets 04: Only Until This Cigarette Is Ended by Edna St. Vincent Millay 325 Comments
2978 Recuerdo Comments and analysis of Recuerdo by Edna St. Vincent Millay 527 Comments
2403 Oh, Oh, You Will Be Sorry Comments and analysis of Oh, Oh, You Will Be Sorry by Edna St. Vincent Millay 17 Comments
2131 Dirge Without Music Comments and analysis of Dirge Without Music by Edna St. Vincent Millay 45 Comments
1708 Love Is Not All Comments and analysis of Love Is Not All by Edna St. Vincent Millay 84 Comments
1697 Apostrophe To Man Comments and analysis of Apostrophe To Man by Edna St. Vincent Millay 18 Comments
1682 Here Is A Wound That Never Will Heal, I Know Comments and analysis of Here Is A Wound That Never Will Heal, I Know by Edna St. Vincent Millay 56 Comments
1632 Travel Comments and analysis of Travel by Edna St. Vincent Millay 288 Comments
1527 The Spring And The Fall Comments and analysis of The Spring And The Fall by Edna St. Vincent Millay 223 Comments
1514 Sonnets 08: And You As Well Must Die, Beloved Dust Comments and analysis of Sonnets 08: And You As Well Must Die, Beloved Dust by Edna St. Vincent Millay 237 Comments
1505 The Plaid Dress Comments and analysis of The Plaid Dress by Edna St. Vincent Millay 69 Comments
1467 Mariposa Comments and analysis of Mariposa by Edna St. Vincent Millay 2 Comments
1250 The Philosopher Comments and analysis of The Philosopher by Edna St. Vincent Millay 11 Comments
1250 Underground System
1151 Sonnet 03: Mindful Of You The Sodden Earth In Spring Comments and analysis of Sonnet 03: Mindful Of You The Sodden Earth In Spring by Edna St. Vincent Millay 1 Comment
1148 Dirge
1138 Song Of A Second April Comments and analysis of Song Of A Second April by Edna St. Vincent Millay 3 Comments
1121 Low-Tide
1095 Departure Comments and analysis of Departure by Edna St. Vincent Millay 456 Comments
1017 I Dreamed I Moved Among The Elysian Fields Comments and analysis of I Dreamed I Moved Among The Elysian Fields by Edna St. Vincent Millay 2 Comments
974 Oh, Think Not I Am Faithful
972 Wraith Comments and analysis of Wraith by Edna St. Vincent Millay 1 Comment
913 Portrait By A Neighbour
860 The Bean-Stalk
808 Exiled Comments and analysis of Exiled by Edna St. Vincent Millay 218 Comments
792 To The Not Impossible Him
689 And do you think that love itself Comments and analysis of And do you think that love itself by Edna St. Vincent Millay 31 Comments
589 The Suicide Comments and analysis of The Suicide by Edna St. Vincent Millay 74 Comments
582 Grown Up Comments and analysis of Grown Up by Edna St. Vincent Millay 14 Comments
562 When We Are Old And These Rejoicing Veins Comments and analysis of When We Are Old And These Rejoicing Veins by Edna St. Vincent Millay 1 Comment
548 The Concert
508 Two Sonnets In Memory
495 The Little Ghost Comments and analysis of The Little Ghost by Edna St. Vincent Millay 218 Comments
427 Conscientious Objector Comments and analysis of Conscientious Objector by Edna St. Vincent Millay 270 Comments
369 Passer Mortuus Est
366 The Fawn Comments and analysis of The Fawn by Edna St. Vincent Millay 1 Comment
347 Sonnets From An Ungrafted Tree Comments and analysis of Sonnets From An Ungrafted Tree by Edna St. Vincent Millay 15 Comments
339 I Know The Face Of Falsehood And Her Tongue
332 Chorus Comments and analysis of Chorus by Edna St. Vincent Millay 1 Comment
328 Sorrow Comments and analysis of Sorrow by Edna St. Vincent Millay 79 Comments
305 The Philosopher Comments and analysis of The Philosopher by Edna St. Vincent Millay 33 Comments
284 The Ballad Of The Harp-Weaver Comments and analysis of The Ballad Of The Harp-Weaver by Edna St. Vincent Millay 285 Comments
273 The Unexplorer
257 An Ancient Gesture Comments and analysis of An Ancient Gesture by Edna St. Vincent Millay 794 Comments
173 Sonnets 05: Once More Into My Arid Days Like Dew
46 Lines Written In Recapitulation Comments and analysis of Lines Written In Recapitulation by Edna St. Vincent Millay 1 Comment
6 Sonnets 01: We Talk Of Taxes, And I Call You Friend


Books by Edna St. Vincent Millay
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