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"Time Does Not Bring Relief"

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by

Autumn Lyda

on 29 May 2014

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Transcript of "Time Does Not Bring Relief"

History
Vincent's first volume of poetry was titled "Renascence and Other Poems". This included "Time does not bring relief".
She was not able to afford college so a women she met said she would help her attend Vassar College through her first volume.
She had numerous sexual partners and an open marriage.
Originally the poem had more exclamation points but were toned down over time.
She was influenced by Robert Frost in some of her writings.
Women were given the right to vote in 1919. Her writings were considered radical because she talked about anti-war, women's relationships, and government issues.
Italian sonnets were trditionally about love and brought to America in the 1600s.
Overall Meaning
The overall theme is grief and trying to move forward. Time does not slowly fade away grief and it will always stay with you. It is about missing a loved one and dwelling on time. Certain places evoke memories of "him" to the writer. Throughout the poem she defies that time heals wounds. She can't overcome this time in her life.
Form
This poem is an Italian sonnet. It has the rhyme scheme ABBAABBACDEECD.It is split into octave which is ABBA and a sestet which is CDE. Italian sonnets were traditionally love poems.

Structure
The poem is started by describing the places where the narrator misses "him" and how it brings back memories she can't escape. The poem finishes by talking about new places they haven't been with no memories.
Language
"Time does not bring relief;
you all have lied"
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.
"Time Does Not Bring Relief"
Edna St. Vincent Millay

The narrator talks of nature disappearing like "him".

Personification:
"weeping of the rain" & "last year's bitter loving" & "shrinking of the tide"

Metaphors:
:"Last year's leaves are smoke in every lane"

Enjambent:
continuation of sentences throughout stanzas.
Full transcript