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Collected Poems

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  7,914 ratings  ·  128 reviews
Compiled by her sister after the poet's death and originally published in 1956, this is the definitive edition of Millay, right up through her last poem, "Mine the Harvest."
Paperback, 768 pages
Published July 10th 1981 by Harper Perennial (first published 1956)
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Adam Di Filippe This is a book of poems that she, herself, wrote.
Which, "long romance one," are you referring to?
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4.24  · 
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 ·  7,914 ratings  ·  128 reviews

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Sep 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wax-poetic
When an interviewer once asked Ray Bradbury what he did to prepare to write every day, he answered, “I read poetry.”

He read poetry, to write prose.

It made me want to read more poetry than I already do, and it also inspired me to find new poets, too. I recently came home from the library with a stack (and I mean a stack) of new-to-me poetry, and I've been saturating myself with it ever since.

It's amazing what poetry does to your mind. It sharpens it, almost immediately. When I have a daily pract
Jan 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, favorites, poetry
Featuring lilting rhymes and well-cultivated images, as well as predictable meter and controlled tone, Millay’s poems precisely address experiences ignored, denigrated, or silenced by the work of her male peers. In addition to having written stunning sonnet sequences about turbulent love from the perspective of a woman, Millay concerned herself with writing about patriarchal oppression, the experience of poverty, suicide, the aging female body, urban life, and more; the range of Millay’s talent ...more
What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why,
I have forgotten, and what arms have lain
Under my head till morning; but the rain
Is full of ghosts tonight, that tap and sigh
Upon the glass and listen for reply;
And in my heart there stirs a quiet pain
For unremembered lads that not again
Will turn to me at midnight with a cry.
Thus in the winter stands a lonely tree,
Nor knows what birds have vanished one by one,
Yet know its boughs more silent than before:
I cannot say what loves have come and gone;
Sally Howes
What I know about poetry could fit on the head of a pin, so this is not intended as any kind of learned review. The fact I know so little about poetry but still chose to read this book (yes, from cover to cover), however, is a testament to the poet. I had read a handful of her sonnets a few years ago, and one in particular haunted me and has never lost its grip on me. I think it's safe to say that it may be my favorite poem ever. So it was because of this poem that I chose to read Edna St. Vince ...more
Mar 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry, favorites
I passed by "Savage Beauty" years ago, struck by the picture of the woman on the cover. It was a bio of poet Edna St. Vincent Millay. I'd never heard of her, but she looked like something out of The Great Gatsby. I decided to pick up her poetry finally, and the first one I turned to was "Renascence." I've adored various poets- Neruda, Angelou, Noyes, but I felt this one poem more deeply than years of literature put together. A poem's never done that to me- I was shocked, tearful, joyous, frozen ...more
Russell Bittner
Oct 08, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I would submit that Edna St. Vincent Millay may be the most underrated poet in the English language.

Was she a formalist, and therefore out of vogue? Too bad. Was she a naughty girl, and therefore sent to a place less than nice when she died? More power to her; I'm sure she felt right at home.

The woman who, as an undergrad at Vassar, defied the president of the college to expel her and was told "What? "And have a banished Shelley on my doorstep?" -- and who then allegedly responded "On those term
Julie Ehlers
May 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, classics
While in the midst of reading this collection, I also read Savage Beauty, a bio of Millay, and that turned out to be a really good idea. Armed with knowledge of her life, I could tell what events/people some poems were about, as well as when they were written, and it definitely added a new and intriguing dimension to my reading.

As for the experience of reading one nearly 800-page collection as my sole poetry source for months, for the most part I enjoyed it. There was a stretch of propaganda poe
Jan 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
One does not expect to come across poetic treasures in English while randomly browsing for mindless stuff to read, at least not when browsing in a bookshop in Belgium, but I wasn't going to let this one slip by. I've wanted to read more of her work since I read An Ancient Gesture. So much of her poetry is haunting, and terribly moving; very glad I found this.
I love this book. I don't read much poetry, but Edna St. Vincent Millay is one of the best poets I've ever read. Wonderful stuff.
Jun 06, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry

"Dirge Without Music"

I am not resigned to the shutting away of loving hearts in the hard ground.
So it is, and so it will be, for so it has been, time out of mind:
Into the darkness they go, the wise and the lovely. Crowned
With lilies and with laurel they go; but I am not resigned.
Lovers and thinkers, into the earth with you.
Be one with the dull, the indiscriminate dust.
A fragment of what you felt, of what you knew,
A formula, a phrase remains, --- but the best is lost.

The answers quick &a
Mar 30, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own-it
The Spring and the Fall

In the spring of the year, in the spring of the year,
I walked the road beside my dear.
The trees were black where the bark was wet.
I see them yet, in the spring of the year.
He broke me a bough of the blossoming peach
That was out of the way and hard to reach.

In the fall of the year, in the fall of the year,
I walked the road beside my dear.
The rooks went up with a raucous trill.
I hear them still, in the fall of the year.
He laughed at all I dared to praise,
And broke
Nov 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
While there are still poems in this big, big book I have not read, I read until my heart was content. Edna is a poet to return to again, and these poems leave a lingering taste. Her voice is unique, yet she keeps the meter I've admired in traditional poetry, and she also brings a fresh voice to the subject matter of love and death and transience using natural imagery and some sarcasm/wit. I usually like to read smaller single author collections or anthologies, so my not completing this one in it ...more
| Maiko-chan |
She is neither pink nor pale
``And she never will be all mine;
She learned her hands in a fairy-tale,
``And her mouth on a valentine.

She has more hair than she needs;
``In the sun 'tis a woe to me!
And her voice is a string of coloured beads,
``Or steps leading into the sea.

She loves me all that she can,
``And her ways to my ways resign;
But she was not made for any man,
``And she never will be all mine.

To what purpose, April, do you return again?
Beauty is not enough.
You can no longer qu
Jan 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I was 10 or 11 when I first stumbled upon Edna's poetry, in a box of children's books from my Great Aunt Alice. I remember the moment I opened the book's worn, orange cover (this was the 1929 edition “for young people,” illustrated by J. Paget-Fredericks) and fell into those first few poems. I remember sitting beside the bookcase in the den, the shaggy carpet beneath my crossed legs, the blooming musty smell of old books, and how I leaned into the cardboard box beside me to regain my balance. It ...more
Dec 26, 2010 rated it liked it
This is a 1956 UK edition published by Hamish Hamilton. I was pleased to find it in the library and am wandering through it page by page. I like Interim
"I picked the first sweet pea today."
Today! Was there an opening bud beside it
You left until tomorrow?- O my love,
The things that withered,- and you came not back!
That day you filled this circle of my arms
That now is empty. (O my empty life!)
That day- that day you picked the first sweet pea,-
And brought it in to show me! I recall
With terrible dis
Aug 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
This book was a gift from a special woman in my life. I fell in love with the poetry in this book, with each poem evoking different feelings and emotions. I return to this book often. Her poems are so moving that it raised many questions of her life and the sorrows she obviously faced in her own life. I found a biography of her life "Savage Beauty". If you are touched by her poetry, read this book. She was a woman who pushed all the boundaries and reveled in life, which explains the raw emotion ...more
Theresa Leone Davidson
Jan 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
To completely immerse yourself in poetry, especially poetry this evocative and beautifully written, is a treat. Moreover, St. Vincent Millay is not a poet to whom I ever paid a lot of attention, nor did I study her writing at school. This has only made her poetry more special, discovering most of it when I'm older and probably better able to appreciate it. Loved the Collected Poems and would highly recommend.
Apr 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
I’m not sure what to think about her poems. Some I really loved while others are morbid and she sounds almost suicidal. It’s funny though because reading her poems I either love or hate them. None are middle ground for me, or just alright. I feel they are either great or terrible but I’m still a fan.
Feb 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I haven't read every poem, etc. in here yet, but have been slowly working my way through since Christmas, so I'm going to go ahead and mark it as read.
Why have you not read Millay yet?! You're missing out...
Graham Wilhauk
The poems that worked here were spectacular. Sure there was a lot of poems that fell flat for me (especially the sonnets), but the majority of the poems here helped me realize that poetry doesn't always have to be god awful and confusing messes. I do recommend Edna St. Vincent Millay's poems!

I am giving this one a 4 out of 5 stars.
May 22, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
Once more into my arid days like dew,
Like wind from an oasis, or the sound
Of cold sweet water bubbling underground,
A treacherous messenger, the thought of you
Comes to destroy me; once more I renew
Firm faith in your abundance, whom I found
Long since to be but just one other mound
Of sand, whereon no green thing ever grew.
And once again, and wiser in no wise,
I chase your colored phantom on the air,
And sob and curse and fall and weep and rise
And stumble pitifully on to where,
Miserable and lost, with
Jan 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
no one, and i mean no one can beat her sonnets...
Lois Duncan
Mar 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Her poetry has a clarity and grace that touches my heart. I read it over and over.
I would like it if this poem could be read with this song playing in the background, softly preferably. Thank you for your consideration. -This is the link!!
SO, this is my creative response and i did a poem:

Sometimes I have to remind myself,
I can, I will, I must.
Triumph over the necessities and find the wants
I mustn’t be stopped by the inferior race of people who find it casual to talk of others in such a cavalier manner! Let their lives be run by the de
Jul 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I continue to read and reread this anthology. Millay’s poetry is beautiful, lyrical, engaging, and, at times, a bit humorous. There are so many different poems of hers that have been relevant to me at different times in my life-sometimes “First Fig” speaks to me; other times “Dirge Without Music” resonates with something inside of me.
Millay’s poetry is something that took hold of me and didn’t let go. Her writing style is amazing, and I truly love reading her poetry. One of the things I love th
Dec 24, 2017 rated it it was ok
Lovely work, but not my thing.
Christian Engler
Sep 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The Collected Poems of Edna St. Vincent Millay brings together poems from her best known books, including Renascence, Second April, A Few Figs from Thistles, The Harp-Weaver and Other Poems (her Pulitzer Prize winning collection) and others. The collection is a treasure trove of Millay's best work, and it can be read and reread with relish and always with new insights being gleaned.

The startling and passionate depth of Millay's vision is of the parallel between the individual and the natural and
Sara Loo
Aug 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Put on your favorite clothes and spray your favorite perfume all around your head. Take along a big straw hat and slip on a pair of sturdy sandals. Then pack up a grand old feast. A block of aged cheese and those gourmet crackers you've been saving. Get out that vintage wine. And don't forget to bring two bunches of plump dark grapes. A tablecloth will do. Bring that checkered one or else that sunny yellow thing you bought last spring, Oh, and don't forget the book. That great big Collection of ...more
Sheryll Putnam
Oct 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing
It's eerie, when I read her poems, theya re so familiar to me, so similiar to the way I write. I jokingly wondered if I used to be her...most people say they used to be Elvis, or Cleopatra, or John Kennedy...I wonder if I was this totured poet.

The poems are deeply disturbing decents into hell, a mourning song of longing and of death. You can feel the grief of someone left alone to fend for herself in the world. I the poem "The Suicide", you feel deeply distubed by the overwhelmingly familiar fee
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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.
Time Does Not Bring Relief

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 shone his face
I say, “There is no memory of him here!”
And so stand stricken, so remembering him.”
“After all, my erstwhile dear,
My no longer cherished,
Need we say it was not love,
Just because it perished?”
More quotes…