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Collected Poems of Edna St. Vincent Millay Paperback – July 10, 1981


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 768 pages
  • Publisher: HarpPeren (July 10, 1981)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060908890
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060908898
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 5.5 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #554,489 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Compiled by her sister after the poet's death and originally published in 1956, this is the definitive edition of Millay, right up through her last poem, Mine the Harvest.

About the Author

Edna St. Vincent Millay was born in 1892 in Rockland, Maine, the eldest of three daughters, and was encouraged by her mother to develop her talents for music and poetry. Her long poem "Renascence" won critical attention in an anthology contest in 1912 and secured for her a patron who enabled her to go to Vassar College.

After graduating in 1917 she lived in Greenwich Village in New York for a few years, acting, writing satirical pieces for journals (usually under a pseudonym), and continuing to work at her poetry. She traveled in Europe throughout 1921-22 as a "foreign correspondent" for Vanity Fair. Her collection A Few Figs from Thistles (1920) gained her a reputation for hedonistic wit and cynicism, but her other collections (including the earlier Renascence and Other Poems [1917]) are without exception more seriously passionate or reflective.

In 1923 she married Eugene Boissevain and -- after further travel -- embarked on a series of reading tours which helped to consolidate her nationwide renown. From 1925 onwards she lived at Steepletop, a farmstead in Austerlitz, New York, where her husband protected her from all responsibilities except her creative work. Often involved in feminist or political causes (including the Sacco-Vanzetti case of 1927), she turned to writing anti-fascist propaganda poetry in 1940 and further damaged a reputation already in decline. In her last years of her life she became more withdrawn and isolated, and her health, which had never been robust, became increasingly poor.

She died in 1950.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 15 customer reviews
It's a very thorough compilation of her work.
recyclability
I have owned this book for 11 years it is simplily the best that I have ever read.
Ernest Boehm
Pulitzer Prize Winner-feminist-many love affairS.
BbP

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

74 of 75 people found the following review helpful By BEN RILEY on January 3, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Millay has been criticized for her lack of technical rigor, but that is the very essence of her accessibility to readers. Yes, she wrote poems that rhymed, sometimes to the point of sing-song meter, but her words carried weight. They meant (and still mean) something, not like the esoteric, pseudo-intellectual hodge-podge that passes for modern poetry. It seems that today's poets wear their inaccessibility as a badge of honor - that only a select group of academic word-smiths can even understand what they have written seems to represent success for them. Not so with Edna. She touches your heart, sometimes even breaks it, with common words, feelings, emotions. You don't have to work for her meaning, it is plainly presented for all to read. But beware! Her poems may be easy to understand, but they are impossible to forget.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By I. Sondel VINE VOICE on June 28, 2004
Format: Paperback
There is so much to praise here, where do I start? How can I possibly communicate what these poems mean to me? "Renascence" alone takes my breath away - "The soul can split the sky in two, And let the face of God shine through." These words too, allow the divine to shine through. "Interim" is, perhaps, as beutiful a poem as I have ever read. The author brilliantly captures the essence of loss, that grief and confusion, the mind's inability to accept the notion of a life alone: "...part of your heart aches in my breast; part of my heart lies chilled in the damp earth with you. I have been torn in two, and suffer for the rest of me..." There are still so many other passages that leap off these pages. Her phrases are like literary gem stones: Sonnet XXVII: "I know I am but summer to your heart, And not the full four seasons of the year" - could it be said any more succinctly? This collection is a must for anyone who cares at all about poetry - American or otherwise.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Dai-keag-ity on October 14, 2005
Format: Paperback
"Time does not bring relief; you all have lied/ Who told me time would ease me of my pain!"

Old and wise beyond her years, Edna St. Vincent Millay wrote the majority of her most beautiful and famous works at a startlingly young age. One of few moments of comedy in Millay's otherwise (too) serious, brief life, was that as a published and award-winning poet while still in her teens, Millay entered college literature courses, taught by older teachers there to `instruct' her, even though they, themselves, had in most cases never published a line of verse or captured a single award!

"I burn my candle at both ends/ It will not last the night...."

This famous and oft quoted line about living the hectic life was Millay's, but many have forgotten that. A half-century after her passing, she is largely unremembered, lost among a crowd of later, lesser writers, ignored by subsequent ages that placed scant value on poetry. Hers was a life often lived invisibly behind her words. Though the events of her personal life, with her promiscuity and radical ideals, at times gained notoriety beyond even her professional achievements, Millay the poet is the force this book celebrates. Even the biographical section in this anthology is terse and respectful, which I found befitting. Edna St.Vincent Millay's poems, from the startlingly powerful Renascence, to her sonnets (the best composed in the English language in centuries) to her final experimental output at the time of World War Two, everything Millay achieved succeeds in taking the consciousness of an attentive reader into a higher realm, where the mind and soul are meditatively fused as at few other times in the human lifetime, and the voyage is one of utter transcendence.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 21, 1998
Format: Paperback
Here is a short poem:
RECUERDO
We were very tired, we were very merry- We had gone back and forth all night on the ferry. It was bare and bright, and smelled like a stable-- But we looked into a fire, we leaned across a table, We lay on a hilltop underneath the moon; And the whistles kept blowing, and the dawn came soon.
We were very tired, we were very merry-- We had gone back and forth all night on the ferry, And you ate an apple, and I ate a pear, From a dozen of each we had bought somewhere; And the sky went wan, and the wind came cold, And the sun rose dripping, a bucketful of gold.
We were very tired, we were very merry, We had gone back and forth all night on the ferry, We hailed "Good morrow, mother!" to a shawl-covered head, And bought a morning paper, which neither of us read; And she wept, "God bless you!" for the apples and pears, And we gave her all our money but our subway fares.

----------------------------------------------
My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends--
It gives a lovely light!
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Ernest Boehm on March 21, 1999
Format: Paperback
I have owned this book for 11 years it is simplily the best that I have ever read. Millay words are elegant and precise. Her themes and her passion for them makes her timeless. Your libary is incomplete without EDNA ST. VINCENT MILLAY. I have studied poets from around the word, yet none have matched her poems. I am lucky to have discovered her work so early in life.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By gram and gramps on February 22, 2006
Format: Paperback
how delightful to find a beautiful copy to introduce my granddaughter to Edna St. Vincent Millay.
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