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Savage Beauty: The Life of Edna St. Vincent Millay Paperback – September 10, 2002
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
The early slangy, insouciant letters between the poet and her mother and sisters, are a delight, revealing their loving, teasing relationships. (I admit to being surprised by their wide use of baby talk.) Since Millay moved in literary circles and knew many writers, the letters back and forth to lovers and friends are wonderfully expressive. Many female readers may wish that their husbands and boyfriends could write of love and longing as eloquently!
Milford reveals how Millay labored over her art, how creating her lyrics which seem to flow smoothly and effortlessly, required energy and commitment on her part to produce.
She details Millay's slide into alcoholism and drug dependence in her later years. One wonders how intelligent, educated people like Millay and her husband Eugene could fall into such a state, but apparently there was no one in their lives to do what today is trendily called "an intervention," and as they became more and more isolated, Millay's physical decline was accelerated.
Kudoes to Nancy Milford for a comprehensive biography of a passionate American poet!
Millay drank, was dependent on prescription pain killers, was promiscuous, and otherwise flouted the conventional morals of her time. She also wrote exquisite poetry and expressed not only beauty of spirit and self, but from time to time high-mindedness -- for example, in trying to evoke the national conscious during America's isolationist response to the rise of fascism in Europe.
This biography is worth reading, as is Millay's poetry.
As a young person I underlined everything of Edna St. Vincent Millay's in green ink (green ink was a strange necessity at the time). This Poet's work, however, was not to be talked about at my parents home. I remember writing many of her poems on index cards and carying them in my pocket.
Several years later I was living in Cambridge with my husband who was in graduate school at Harvard. It was there that I discovered her earlier work. While in college in Va. I was the script editor of our Sophmore play "The Women". I was overwhelmed by the interest in Vachel Lindsay and ee cummings. Why?? Lawrence Ferlingheti and "friends" only echoed what Millay had said years before. Being from the South, my roomate, the soccer "Destroyer" from New Jersey was suddendly explained. Ms. Milford's book put Millay's life in perspective and also mine. "Vincent" changed a generation. But then so does Nancy Milford. SAVAGE BEAUTY makes this available to all of us. The best, and best written nonfiction read of the year. Thank you. Atlanta
Milford's dazzling intelligence shines through most obviously in her portrayal of the peculiar matriarchy of the Millay family, a self-contained unit held together by its members' voracious need for admiration and their ability to bolster one another's narcissism. Milford's frequent introductions of Millay's sister Norma - who is still alive during part of the biography's writing - reveals the biographical innovativeness that distinguished ZELDA.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Savage Beauty is the best biography I have read in years, and I have read plenty of them. Nancy Milford draws the reader into the life and times of Edna St. Vincent Millay. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Jerome Ackerman
This is a magnificent tale of the life of one of the great poets in history. The reader is infatuated with and infuriated by Millay throughout, and the author has done a brilliant... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Jude M. Ryan
What a book! Had me from the first page. What a woman! Best read I have had in forever thanks Me MilfordqPublished 9 months ago by Renee Courtois
I think this book was terrific. Nicely written biography by Nancy Milford on the life of an extremely interesting and highly talented artist.Published 9 months ago by M. Sellergren