Day 573: The Selected Poetry of Edna St. Vincent Millay

Cover for The Selected Poetry of Edna St. Vincent MillayPoetry is not really my expertise, so I feel awkward trying to write this. Of course, I came to this book familiar with a few of Millay’s most well-known poems, particularly “First Fig.” The poem that made Millay’s reputation was “Renascence,” about a person who is buried in the earth alive and springs back out.

I think this is an interesting book for someone not familiar with Millay. It contains most of her best-known poems from several different collections.

Although Millay was known as a master writer of sonnets and this book contains many sonnets, I think I prefer some of her less formal, cheekier poems, for example, “Thursday.” I also liked the poems that reflect her familiarity with old Celtic and British folk ballads—whose rhythms sound like someone singing a ghostly Border ballad.

After reading in Milford’s biography about Millay’s wonderful voice, I looked for a recording on YouTube. I was delighted to find an atmospheric performance of “The Ballad of the Harpweaver,” recorded for radio.

You might be interested in reading my review of the biography of her life.

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “Day 573: The Selected Poetry of Edna St. Vincent Millay

  1. Cedar Station August 29, 2014 / 1:14 pm

    I had a similar experience with her poems — I preferred the ones that were more tongue-in-cheek. I’ve had her biography on my list for a while, too, as well as her book of letters. She was definitely a talented writer!

    • whatmeread August 29, 2014 / 1:52 pm

      I think the biography that I read was really interesting.

  2. Carolyn O September 2, 2014 / 4:07 pm

    Oh, Edna. I love her. I love the way she writes so openly about sex (even casual sex), whether she’s funny or mournful. I’m glad you read this book!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s