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Edna St. Vincent Millay: Collected Lyrics

4.40  ·  Rating Details  ·  267 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
These unique and beautiful lyrics -- over two hundred of them -- were selected by Edna St. Vincent Millay herself and represent the major portion of her lifework.

Their musical perfection, emotional power, and superb, delicate workmanship have made Edna St. Vincent Millay one of America's great poets.

Paperback, 279 pages
Published 1959 by Washington Square Press (first published January 1st 1939)
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Dec 02, 2015 Drew rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
I'm guessing every morning, Edna St. Vincent Millay awoke and asked herself, "What's the most depressing thing I can write about today?" Some days it was self-destruction ("The Suicide"). Some days it was poverty ("The Ballad of the Harp Weaver"). Still other days it was death ("Renascence") or war ("Three Sonnets in Tetrameter") or injustice ("Justice Denied In Massachusetts"). On good days, she wrote about nature. Yes, she can gush and wax and sound every bit the poetess but this collection co ...more
Jan 09, 2010 Liz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
My absolute favorite poet. This collection is great to flip through or sit down and properly read--and it has the great feature of an index by first line.

My favorite is Witch-Wife, and you may remember "Recuerdo" and "Macdougal Street" from the NYC subway's "Poetry in Motion" series, back at the beginning when the poems were better. Her most famous, I think, are her shortest and her longest: "First Fig" and "Second Fig" on the short end and "Renascence" on the long end.

Millay was also the firs
Jun 27, 2011 Cami rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, favorites
It seems like I've had this book forever.
Ms. Millay's poems are vibrant and sad. She writes about a variety of subjects.
Small example from a poem called The Musician:

"There, today, as in the days when I knew you well,
The willow sheds upon the stream its narrow leaves,
And the quiet flowing of the water and its faint smell
Are balm to the heart that grieves.

Together with the sharp discomfort of loving you,
Ineffable you, so lovely and so aloof,
There is laid upon the spirit the calmness of the river
Nov 29, 2007 Dan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: readers of poetry
I pursued Edna St. Vincent Millay after reading John McWhorter's "Doing Our Own Thing: The Degradation of Language and Music." He cited her as the poet of careful craft, an exemplary poet of pre-beat twentieth century America. And indeed, his promotion did not let me down. There were many poems I didn't care for in the volume, some too loose, some too political. The good ones were amazing, though, very carefully constructed, conscious of meter and rhyme. Many meditations on life, love, death, th ...more
Sep 23, 2011 Sara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
Some of Millay's poems are very, very good. In loose poems, the near rhymes and tricky rhyme patterns are bliss. In structured ones, she keeps the rhyme very well without losing too much.
A few poems aren't. Her short poems are better than long; her loose poems better than her structured.
While the imagery is very good, these poems are much more emotion than imagery. A few poems ("Childhood Is the Kingdom Where Nobody Dies") combine the two in genius.
Millay was more "traditional" than those in h
Amanda Werlein
Before reading this book, I only liked a few poems that I had found in life, all by various authors. This was the first book that showed me that poetry is a delight to read. I've read this cover to cover, probably about twice, but I've read some parts of it over twenty times. I would suggest this book to just about anyone who has even the slightest inclination to read poetry.
Aug 05, 2007 Jenniffer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
At one point the best selling modern american poet, this great writer has fallen off the radar. She has been neglected for adherance to trdational poetic forms, though her subject matter was topical and often controversial. She wrote about free love and against war and did little to hide her bisexuality in the 1920s! Well worht a read if you have any love of poetry or feminist literature.
Jan 19, 2008 jeremy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
the anguish

i would to god i were quenched and fed
as in my youth
from the flask of song, and the good bread
of beauty richer than truth.

the anguish of the world is on my tongue.
my bowl is filled to the brim with it; there is more than i can eat.
happy are the toothless old and the toothless young,
that cannot rend this meat.
The True Encounter

"Wolf!" cried my cunning heart
At every sheep it spied,
And roused the countryside.

"Wolf! Wolf!"--and up would start
Good neighbors, bringing spade
And pitchfork to my aid.

At length my cry was known:
Therein lay my release.
I met the wolf alone
And was devoured in peace.
Shirley Plummer
Jan 06, 2010 Shirley Plummer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Assuming that this edition is, like mine, a paperback from Harper & Row's Perrenial Classics, with an intro-duction c in 1959 and 1969, it contains work in the order published from a long span of years. Though her first work is impressive, the increasing maturity both personal and poetic show through.
Maynard James Keller
The book that ended up - many years later - making me a poet. Starts off with the seminal (if in need of editing down) Renascence written when she was an isolated 17 year old small town school girl in New England.
Apr 17, 2009 Colin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"I know some poison I could drink,
I've often thought I'd taste it.
But mother bought it for the sink,
And drinking it would waste it."
Aug 09, 2011 Bev rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
I love Edna St. Vincent Millay! She and Emily Dickinson are two of my favorite poets of all time.
Po książce mam ochotę na film. Lekka, zabawna, a historia trochę jak z Amelii :)
Feb 14, 2009 SmarterLilac rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ah, Millay. How great is Millay?
Jun 22, 2007 Valerie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have a 1959 copy.
Jul 22, 2008 Daniel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mar 08, 2008 Erika rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classic
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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.
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