Edited by Millay biographer Nancy Milford, The Selected Poetry of Edna St. Vincent Millay also includes the collections A Few Figs from Thistles and Second April, as well as "The Ballad of the Harp-Weaver" and eight of Millay’s sonnets from the early twenties.
In 1917, "Renascence" was incorporated into her first volume of poetry, which is reprinted here, complete and unabridged, from the original edition. The 23 works in this first volume are fired with the romantic and independent spirit of youth that Edna St. Vincent Millay came to personify. In addition to "Renascence," this volume includes 16 other early lyric poems — "Interim," "Sorrow," "Ashes of Life," "Three Songs of Shattering," "The Dream," "When the Year Grows Old," and others, including six sonnets, to which Millay brought great distinction throughout her career.
Their brilliance undimmed by the passage of time, these gemlike verses continue to dazzle poetry lovers. This new anthology represents the quintessential Edna St. Vincent Millay, comprising 67 poems from two of her most popular works, A Few Figs from Thistles and Second April. Its contents include such well-known and much-studied poems as "Recuerdo" and "The Philosopher," along with an abundance of sonnets, a genre in which the Pulitzer Prize–winning poet excelled.
The perfect introduction for those as yet unacquainted with one of the most distinctive voices of 20th-century poetry, this volume also offers a high-quality, inexpensive treasury of favorite Millay works for devotees of her verse.
Millay infused new life into traditional poetic forms, bringing new hope to a generation of youth disillusioned by the political and social upheaval of the First World War. She ventured fearlessly beyond familiar poetic subjects to tackle political injustice, social discrimination, and women's sexuality in her poems and prose. In the 1920s and '30s, Millay was considered a spokesperson for personal freedom in America, particularly for women, and we turn to her lines to illuminate the social history of the period and the Bohemian lifestyle she and her friends enjoyed.
Yet Millay's poetry is still decisively modern in its message, and it continues to resonate with readers facing personal and moral issues that defy the test of time: romantic love, loss, betrayal, compassion for one another, social equality, patriotism, and the stewardship of the natural world.
Collected Poems features Millay's incisive and impassioned lyric poetry and sonnets, many of which are considered among the finest in the language, as well as the poet's last volume, Mine the Harvest, compiled and published in 1956 by her sister Norma Millay.
This volume includes the early poems that many consider her best— “Renascence” and “The Ballad of the Harp Weaver” among them—as well as such often-memorized favorites as “What lips my lips have kissed” and “First Fig” (“My candle burns at both ends . . .”). The poet’s most famous verse drama, the one-act antiwar fable Aria da Capo, is included here as well.
Millay's first three books of lyrics and sonnets are collected here: Renascence, Second April, and A Few Figs from Thistles. With a balanced and appreciative introduction and useful annotations, this volume presents some of the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet's best work in which she weaves intellect, emotion, and irony.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Renascence and Other Poems was Millay's first collection of poetry, a literary sensation when it was published in 1912. Acclaimed by critics for its remarkable use of compelling language and imagery, it is a deeply personal work that reflects the poet's spiritual awakening, using the themes of death and resurrection. In contrast, the poetry in A Few Figs from Thistles represents a cynical stage, a time of rebellion, and a search for personal freedom, as depicted in her famous line, "My candle burns at both ends." Part beauty, part despair, the free verse and heartfelt sonnets of Second April are an expression of Millay's feelings about love and disillusionment. Eloquent, daring, and sometimes bittersweet, these masterful lyrics exemplify the best work of a complex, passionate, and gifted poet.
If F. Scott Fitzgerald was the hero of the Jazz Age, Edna St. Vincent Millay, as flamboyant in her love affairs as she was in her art, was its heroine. The first woman ever to win the Pulitzer Prize, Millay was dazzling in the performance of herself. Her voice was likened to an instrument of seduction and her impact on crowds, and on men, was legendary. Yet beneath her studied act, all was not well. Milford calls her book "a family romance"--for the love between the three Millay sisters and their mother was so deep as to be dangerous. As a family, they were like real-life Little Women, with a touch of Mommie Dearest.
Nancy Milford was given exclusive access to Millay's papers, and what she found was an extraordinary treasure. Boxes and boxes of letter flew back and forth among the three sisters and their mother--and Millay kept the most intimate diary, one whose ruthless honesty brings to mind Sylvia Plath. Written with passion and flair, Savage Beauty is an iconic portrait of a woman's life.
What Lips My Lips Have Kissed is the story of a rare sort of American genius, who grew up in grinding poverty in Camden, Maine. Nothing could save the sensitive child but her talent for words, music and drama, and an inexorable desire to be loved. When she was twenty, her poetry would make her famous; at thirty she would be loved by readers the world over.
Edna St. Vincent Millay was widely considered to be the most seductive woman of her age. Few men could resist her, and many women also fell under her spell. From the publication of her first poems until the scandal over Fatal Interview twenty years later, gossip about the poet's liberated lifestyle prompted speculation about who might be the real subject of her verses.
Using letters, diaries and journals of the poet and her lovers that have only recently become available, Daniel Mark Epstein tells the astonishing story of the life, dedicated to art and love, that inspired the sublime lyrics of Edna St. Vincent Millay.
A contemporary of Berryman, Bishop, and Lowell, William Meredith shared neither the bohemian excesses of the Beats nor the exhibitionist excesses of the "confessional" poets. Rather, he was known as a poet whose unadorned, formal verse marked him as a singular voice. Effort at Speech, the definitive collection of Meredith's life work, contains poems chosen by the author from throughout his career, as well as several new works and an essay by Michael Collier placing Meredith in his times.
Practical Gods is the eighth collection by Carl Dennis, a critically acclaimed poet and recent winner of one of the most prestigious poetry awards, the Ruth Lilly Prize. Carl Dennis has won acclaim for "wise, original, and often deeply moving" poems that "ease the reader out of accustomed modes of seeing and perceiving" (The New York Times). Many of the poems in this new book involve an attempt to enter into dialogue with pagan and biblical perspectives, to throw light on ordinary experience through metaphor borrowed from religious myth and to translate religious myth into secular terms. While making no claims to put us in touch with some ultimate reality, these clear, precise, sensitive poems help us to pay homage to the everyday household gods that are easy to ignore, the gods that sustain life and make it rewarding.
Moy Sand and Gravel is the winner of the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.
Black Zodiac offers poems suffused with spiritual longing—lyrical meditations on faith, religion, heritage, and morality. The poems also explore aging and mortality with restless grace. Approaching his vast subjects by way of small moments, Wright magnifies details to reveal truths much larger than the quotidian happenings that engendered them. His is an astonishing, flexible, domestic-yet-universal verse. As the critic Helen Vendler has observed, Wright is a poet who "sounds like nobody else."
From the Hardcover edition.
Written in a voice that moves between elegy and prayer, The Simple Truth contains thirty-three poems whose aim is to weave a complex tapestry of myth, history (both public and private), family, memory, and invention in a search for truths so basic and universal they often escape us all.
From the Hardcover edition.