Book Review: The Selected Poetry of Edna St. Vincent Millay

esvm.pngThe Selected Poetry of Edna St. Vincent Millay
Published: 1991
Genre: Poetry
Format: Paperback
Pages: 160
Source: Purchased
Dates Read: February 26-28, 2019
Grade: B-
Synopsis: One of America’s most celebrated poets—and winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 1923—Edna St. Vincent Millay defined a generation with her passionate lyrics and intoxicating voice of liberation. Edited by Millay biographer Nancy Milford, this Modern Library Paperback Classics collection captures the poet’s unique spirit in works like Renascence and Other PoemsA Few Figs from This-tles, and Second April, as well as in “The Ballad of the Harp-Weaver” and eight sonnets from the early twenties. As Milford writes in her Introduction, “These are the poems that made Edna St. Vincent Millay’s reputation when she was young. Saucy, insolent, flip, and defiant, her little verses sting the page.” (from Goodreads)


tspoesvmOh, Modernism, old friend — how I’ve missed you and your whackadoodle self. I liked quite a few of these poems, but sometimes they felt a bit sing-songy to me, which I’m not a fan of. I think Millay can come off as overly dramatic at times (well, she is a poet). I wish there were more poems in her oeuvre like “The Ballad of the Harp-Weaver.”

I remember that we weren’t allowed to read Millay in (my private Christian) high school because she was bisexual. I’ve finally seen that that’s true, although I obviously don’t agree with banning students from reading someone’s work because of their sexuality.


Favorite Poems:

  • “God’s World” (22)
  • “First Fig” (49)
  • “Grown-Up” (60)
  • “Daphne” (62)
  • “The Ballad of the Harp-Weaver” (156-160)

The Book Despository | Amazon | Library | Goodreads

2 thoughts on “Book Review: The Selected Poetry of Edna St. Vincent Millay

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