5 thoughts on “Collected Lyrics

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

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