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Renascence and Other Poems

4.25  ·  Rating Details ·  832 Ratings  ·  58 Reviews
1917. Pulitzer prize-winning American poet, this is her first book of poems. Contents: Renascence; Interim; The Suicide; God's World; Afternoon on a Hill; Sorrow; Tavern; Ashes of Life; The Little Ghost; Kin to Sorrow; Three Songs of Shattering; The Shroud; The Dream; Indifference; Witch-Wife; Blight; When Year Grows Old; Sonnets I-V (unnamed); and Sonnet VI (Bluebeard). S ...more
Paperback, 52 pages
Published January 1st 2005 by Kessinger Publishing (first published 1917)
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(showing 1-30)
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Jenny (Reading Envy)
Apr 19, 2015 Jenny (Reading Envy) rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jenny (Reading Envy) by: Kate Bolick in Spinster
Shelves: poetry, read2015
Millay is one of those poets I think oh sure, I've read, but then realized I really hadn't. This set of poems is some of her earliest work, and is stunning and incredible. Sometimes you have to give a poem a bit, look past the rhyming and look at the meaning. Other times it's not an effort at all. My favorites are the title poem and the six sonnets.

The most familiar poem in this volume is probably the one that starts:
"O world, I cannot hold thee close enough!"

Sound familiar? Good, now read the
...more
Raymond
Mar 04, 2010 Raymond rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literary-poetry
First, let me state my personal conviction that you never finish a good poem. It stays with you forever, in your mind. In a quiet moment, a line will be remembered with a clarity that is almost painful in its beauty. More often than not, that memory will lead you back to rereading the poem in its entirety. There is always something fresh, something new, in it- some new understanding, some new and wondrous appreciation for a metaphor, image. A good poem is a joy, always.

That said, Edna St. Vincen
...more
Antonomasia
Sometimes - at first - I was unsure about the very obvious rhyme scheme. But the power of the words overcame that. In the title poem especially: such an amazing vision of transcendence, and from a 20 year old(?!)
And she sounds so alive (even when she writes of death). As if this were about her:
never shall one room contain me quite
Who in so many rooms first saw the light
[Sonnet IV]

Sometimes there were a lot of very well-used nature subjects, still well done though. And just when I thought ther
...more
Jennifer
Jul 29, 2011 Jennifer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Any book of poetry that makes me actually tear up on the bus while reading it deserves five stars. I was startled to find out Millay was in her early 20s when she wrote most of the poems in this book--"Time does not bring relief, you all have lied" doesn't seem the work of a young woman, but that's the mark of a great poet, after all.

There are a hundred places where I fear
To go,—so with his memory they brim!
And entering with relief some quiet place
Where never fell his foot or shone his face
I
...more
Bruce
Jun 13, 2016 Bruce rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a good companion poetry collection to Millay’s A Few Figs from Thistles. Whereas the latter was insouciant, witty, irreverent, and characterized by short poems often barbed, this one is far more thoughtful, introspective, and often poignant. The reader who wishes to explore and experience the range of Millay’s ideas and styles will want to read both, neither collection being very long.
Ruth
Apr 21, 2015 Ruth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
2017: I've been teaching Millay to Podling 1 this week. It was time to revisit this.

I was in a Millay Mood yesterday and thus pulled this slim volume out and read it cover-to-cover. The only problem is that it's a copy I marked up when I was about 21, and the notes I took are fairly cringe-worthy. Oh, youthful Ruth. You have so much to learn.
Leah
Mar 02, 2017 Leah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
Have recently been interested in Edna St. Vincent Millay, and thought it best to start at the beginning. While there were some poems I really had to work through and others that seemed almost too simple, I did enjoy the collection as a whole. Particular favorites were Bluebeard, God's World, Sonnet V, and a couple of the longer works as well. Worth revisiting in future.

3.75 stars
Ross
Like him who day by day unto his draught
Of delicate poison adds him one drop more
Till he may drink unharmed the death of ten,
Even so, inured to beauty, who have quaffed
Each hour more deeply than the hour before,
I drink—and live—what has destroyed some men.


While I enjoyed "Renascence" and the longer poems that constitute the first half of this book, it was the closing six sonnets, especially "Bluebeard," that bumped the collection from three stars to four. Millay's style retains much of the
...more
gautami
In this book of poetry, the descriptions of nature is exquisite and imagery is marvellous. In the title poem "Renascence" Millay is eloquent about the core of the universe consisting of God, death, living, suffering and also the beauties of the world.

"The heart can push the sea and land
Farther away on either hand
The soul can split the sky in two
And let the face of God shine through..."


Millay explores the beauty of nature, and speaks of love and loss at the same time. The poems are about a perfe
...more
Kelly
I think I should have loved you presently,
And given in earnest words I flung in jest;
And lifted honest eyes for you to see,
And caught your hand against my cheek and breast;
And all my pretty follies flung aside
That won you to me, and beneath your gaze,
Naked of reticence and shorn of pride,
Spread like a chart my little wicked ways.
I, that had been to you, had you remained,
But one more waking from a recurrent dream,
Cherish no less the certain stakes I gained,
And walk your memory's halls, austere, s
...more
Melissa Riker
Sep 19, 2007 Melissa Riker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: any romantics ever
Shelves: loveitalways
Just keep reading through Bluebeard into House on a Hill and end happily at
The Dream
Edna St. Vincent Millay

Love, if I weep it will not matter,
And if you laugh I shall not care;
Foolish am I to think about it,
But it is good to feel you there.

Love, in my sleep I dreamed of waking,—
White and awful the moonlight reached
Over the floor, and somewhere, somewhere,
There was a shutter loose,—it screeched!

Swung in the wind,—and no wind blowing!—
I was afraid, and turned to you,
Put out my hand to you fo
...more
April
Jul 30, 2008 April rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who feel deeply
Shelves: poetry
Edna St. Vincent Millay is one of my all-time favorite poets. I really love and feel deep connection with her, and have for several years. I have "The Selected Poetry of..." back home in a box somewhere. This book was good, although it left out plenty of great poems that are in that other book. It did, however, include "Renascence," "Interim," "Sorrow" and several others that are just mesmerizing. I can't resist the temptation to put some of my favorite lines here...

Millay on depression:

"Sorrow
...more
Lizzie
Jul 23, 2009 Lizzie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lizzie by: Meg
Meg gave me this as a DailyLit gift a couple weeks ago when I needed it, and she recommended "take one before bedtime" and I did. Well I tried. Practice is hard.

Poetry, I don't know you very well, but it's pretty awesome when you work out. This collection starts with a couple of longer pieces, which I liked a lot, particularly "Interim".

Here 'twas as if a weed-choked gate
Had opened at my touch, and I had stepped
Into some long-forgot, enchanted, strange,
Sweet garden of a thousand years ago
And sud
...more
Lucy
Apr 06, 2007 Lucy rated it really liked it
II
Time does not bring relief; you all have lied
Who told me time would ease me of my pain!
I miss him in the weeping of the rain;
I want him at the shrinking of the tide;
The old snows melt from every mountain-side,
And last year's leaves are smoke in every lane;
But last year's bitter loving must remain
Heaped on my heart, and my old thoughts abide!

There are a hundred places where I fear
To go,--so with his memory they brim!
And entering with relief some quiet place
Where never fell his foot or shon
...more
Jinni Pike
Apr 20, 2014 Jinni Pike rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2014
O God, I cried, give me new birth
And put me back upon the earth!
Upset each cloud's gigantic gourd
And let the heavy rain, down-poured
In one big torrent, set me free,
Washing my grave away from me!

"Renascence" by Edna St Vincent Millay

This collection of some of Millay's early poetry is hauntingly beautiful. With such dark themes as death and loss it's hard to believe she wrote "Renascence" at nineteen. Millay's sardonic wit creeps in at the best moments in her poems and give a beautiful lightness t
...more
Mary
Jan 25, 2015 Mary rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The prose and romanticism are absolutely lovely. There are poignant lines that gave me pause as I considered their imagery: "Weeds were tall on all the paths that led that way." I was surprised, but also a little unsurprised, to learn that much of what was included in this collection was written when she was only nineteen years old. The rhyme schemes were sometimes a little too clean, and the drama over a lost love a little too stinging - but the ability to see beauty and meaning in the simplest ...more
Ellee
How did I not read this earlier in my life?! She captures pain, grief, and sorrow without being overly melodramatic and also gives glimpses of the light and hope as the pain of loss integrates into a person's being. She does not pretend that the pain goes away - or even that it subsides - just that it becomes part of one and is acceptable. Awesome, awesome poetry! Totally going to recommend this to the teens at our library. :D
Brittany Sanford
Nov 29, 2013 Brittany Sanford rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, poetry, free
Quick Review: I came across the poem 'Renascence' in the book "The Sea of Tranquility".

I really enjoyed reading this short book of poetry, which took me a very long time to read.

It took me many tries to finish reading the poem 'Suicide'. I left it for last becuase I originally did not like it and then I actually ended up liking it very much.

The tone of the poetry is more moloncholy than anything.
Deep, interesting, and thought provoking.
Rana
Nov 20, 2016 Rana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ah, I am worn out - I am wearied out -
It is too much - I am but flesh and blood,
And I must sleep. Though you were dead again,
I am but flesh and blood and I must sleep.
Interim; is my favorite piece, because I relate to grief more than happiness.
I haven't read poetry in ages, and these are not just some poems you read. Each word penetrate your soul and give you this ache you longed for! This isn't something you read once.
Carl Williams
Jan 23, 2016 Carl Williams rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Edna Saint Vincent Millay is, in my thinking, one of America's great poets. She captures a unique fresh vision and creates such wonderful pictures, captures such important realities. And her sonnets...wonderful.

This is her first volume of published poetry, and it's easy to see her depth and grace. She captures:
"The gossiping of friendly spheres
The creaking of the tented sky,
The ticking of Eternity.” (“Renascence")

Lauren
Oct 14, 2014 Lauren rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: recent
I love Millay, so I bought a bunch of these Dover Thrift Editions because they were like $2 each, and this one is pretty okay but nothing special. It does have Witch-Wife and Interim, which I like, but the sonnets at the end are probably the best parts. It's what she would eventually become known for, and I guess for good reason. Her long-form poems don't hold up as well, I don't think.
Nadja
Mar 27, 2009 Nadja rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I borrowed this beautiful old edition from my father. Inside there was a newspaper clipping with a few more poems, the newspaper had stained the pages of the book dark brown where it was pressed.

Her descriptions of depression are very astute.
Chris
Jan 09, 2008 Chris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
The lyric poems here--aside perhaps from the title poem--don't do much for me, but it was her sonnets that drew me to Millay, and half of the six included in this (her first collection) really blow my skirt up.
Lori
Dec 23, 2010 Lori rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was my first real experience with Millay. I absolutely loved her poetry. She writes very clear verses that are vivid and beautiful. I am definitely a fan now and will have to get more of her work.
Brian
Jan 23, 2015 Brian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, w
This is ESVM's first collection, and it's incredible how wonderful they are so early on her career. The sonnets aren't nearly as good as I know some of her later ones are, but there are only six of them, and the "lyrics" more than make up for their deficiencies (especially "Interim").
Elle
Aug 04, 2012 Elle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012, poetry
Edna St. Vincent Millay has a truly wonderful way with words!

My favourites include Renascence, Sorrow, Ashes of Life, The Dream and of course the poem which introduced me to her, Afternoon on a Hill!


A wonderful collection of poetry!
Jeff Hobbs
Jan 13, 2013 Jeff Hobbs marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: quick-read, poetry
Poems read so far

Renascence
Interim
The Suicide
God's World
Afternoon on a Hill
Sorrow
Tavern
Ashes of Life
The Little Ghost
Kin to Sorrow
Three Songs of Shattering
The Shroud
The Dream
Indifference
The Witch-Wife
Blight
When the Year Grows Old
Sonnets I-IV
Bluebeard
Mackenzie
Love, love, LOVE Edna St. Vincent Millay! Her poetry is so beautiful and deep, I can't take it. She has so much power in her simplicity and she takes good and bad - real - subjects as they are, which I love in poetry. So good! ❤ ...more
Ben Cail
Dec 19, 2013 Ben Cail rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this. Millay is one of my favorites.
Reza
Sep 05, 2007 Reza rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
It was okay.
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Edna St. Vincent Millay was an American lyrical poet and playwright. She received the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1923, the third woman to win the award for poetry, and was also known for her feminist activism and her many love affairs. She used the pseudonym Nancy Boyd for her prose work.

This famous portrait of Vincent (as she was called by friends) was taken by Carl Van Vechten in 1933.
More about Edna St. Vincent Millay...

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“The world stands out on either side
No wider than the heart is wide;
Above the world is stretched the sky,
No higher than the soul is high.
The heart can push the sea and land
Farther away on either hand;
The soul can split the sky in two,
And let the face of God shine through.
But East and West will pinch the heart
That can not keep them pushed apart;
And he whose soul is flat—the sky
Will cave in on him by and by.”
45 likes
“The first rose on my rose-tree
Budded, bloomed, and shattered,
During sad days when to me
Nothing mattered.

Grief of grief has drained me clean;
Still it seems a pity
No one saw,—it must have been
Very pretty.”
23 likes
More quotes…