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First Fig and Other Poems (Dover Thrift Editions) Paperback – October 5, 2011

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About the Author

Edna St. Vincent Millay found her voice in a national poetry contest at the age of 20. In 1912, she won a prize for Renascence, just the first of many poems to win critical acclaim. The most famous poet of the Jazz Age, her passionate lyrics center on themes of spiritual awakening, love and personal freedom. In 1923, she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for her fourth volume of poems, The Harp Weaver.

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Product Details

  • Series: Dover Thrift Editions
  • Paperback: 50 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications; New edition edition (November 2, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486411044
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486411040
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.2 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #291,089 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Michael J. Mazza HALL OF FAME on October 24, 2001
Format: Paperback
"First Fig and Other Poems" is an excellent collection of work by United States poet Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950). This volume is an unabridged republication of the contents of two of her books: the 1922 edition of "A Few Figs from Thistles: Poems and Sonnets," and "Second April" (1921). The book also contains a 5-page biographical introduction.
These poems reveal a remarkable poetic voice: playful, bold, quirky, passionate, and sometimes melancholy. She often writes of romantic love from a woman's perspective. I read Millay (as exemplified by this book) as a sort of poetic "soul sister" to 19th century giant Emily Dickinson: they both share an irreverent spirit and a sensuous appreciation of the natural world.
Millay was a master of traditional poetic forms; this volume contains several sonnets, as well as other poems in various patterns of meter and rhyme. Millay's genius is that she brings to these traditional forms a charm, wit, and freshness. Many of her poems incorporate classical and literary references: to Apollo, Sappho, Helen, Homer, Guinevere, etc.
I especially like the several poems which evoke the sea and the coastline with stunning language. Consider these lines from "Exiled": "Wanting the sticky, salty sweetness / of the strong wind and shattered spray; / Wanting the loud sound and the soft sound / Of the big surf that breaks all day."
Overall, this is a diverse and enjoyable gathering of poems. Another great standout is the fantasy-flavored "The Singing-Woman from the Wood's Edge," the first-person account of a being whose "mother was a leprechaun, whose father was a friar." I should also mention "Recuerdo," from whose lines I took the title of this review. Edna St. Vincent Millay is a remarkable poet, and I highly recommend "First Fig and Other Poems."
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 6, 2000
Format: Paperback
All 67 poems from "Second April" (1921) and "A Few Figs from Thistles" (1922) are collected in this book. You'll find cynical poems but also beautiful poems about nature. Edna St.Vincent Millay's gem like poems are worth to discover and you'll certainly enjoy them. Although they were created in the Jazz Age they are timeless and express feelings and thoughts that are common to us. Very recommendable collection!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Words&Music on December 11, 2012
Format: Paperback
She was every inch the poet. Note I do not say the demeaning poetess Edna St Vincent Millay, in her youth lived the life that still rings for every young, ambitious artist: to be surrounded by a cadre of talented (if perhaps doomed and self-detructive) friends, to have, perhaps no money, but lots of spirit, camaraderie and those flashes of insight that light up the writer's life briefly but indelibly.

She wrote in a way that kept all this fresh, invigorating eye popping energy in well known poetic forms. She had many contemporaries who were more avant garde than she, but who can recite Ezra Pound whereas E St. V M's "My candle burns at both ends..." rolls off the tongue with as much conviction now as it did a hundred years ago. These early poems (and in this reasonably priced Dover edition) confirm Edna St. Vincent Millay as a poet of magic and youth, of urban joys, riding back and forth on the ferry, a writer committed to imaginative endeavor

And if it did not last, what of it?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By KAREN RINEHART on October 4, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have been a fan of her writing since I was a teenager. I love re-reading my favorites. They are always new in some way
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