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Sonnet XXX

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by

Regina Lopez

on 12 December 2013

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Transcript of Sonnet XXX

SONNET XXX
THE AUTHOR
POETRY TERMS
EDNA ST.VINCENT MILLAY
POEM BACKGROUND
THE POEM
Love is not all: It is not meat nor drink
Nor slumber nor a roof against the rain,
Nor yet a floating spar to men that sink
and rise and sink and rise and sink again.
Love cannot fill the thickened lung with breath
Nor clean the blood, nor set the fractured bone;
Yet many a man is making friends with death
even as I speak, for lack of love alone.
It well may be that in a difficult hour,
pinned down by need and moaning for release
or nagged by want past resolution's power,
I might be driven to sell your love for peace,
Or trade the memory of this night for food.
It may well be. I do not think I would.
SONNET XXX
POEM ANALYSIS
THE END.
SUMMARY
This poem starts off about how love does not have anything that is needed to sustain a human being. It does not provide food, shelter, air, or health. However, many men would rather die than not have love. In the last six lines says that if she was in pain and wanted to be at peace for a moment she might trade the love for that. But even though she could do that, she wouldn't because her love is more important to her than food or peace.
SONNET
a 14-line lyric poem written with a strict pattern of rhyme and rhythm
Edna St. Vincent Millay was born in Rock land, Maine on February 22, 1892. In 1923 she married Eugene von Boissevain. They agreed to have an open relationship, both of them being firm believers in free love. As she grew older, she fell deep into alcoholism and drug abuse. With her addiction she got into a
(line 4): "And rise and sink and rise and sink again" repetition also adds to the flow of poetry and the rhythm of the sonnet. Mrs. St. Vincent Millay is trying to evoke the feeling that love is unsatisfactory because it is inconsistent and does not fulfill life's meaning.
Millay wrote Sonnet XXX in 1931 in her book "The Fatal Interview". Many things led up to the poem; Her close friend, the poet Elinor Wylie, died in 1928, and her mother died in 1931.
But the real reason she wrote the love poem is quite clear. Though she was married, she and her husband allowed each other to have other "lovers". For her, one of these was George Dillon, who she met when she was giving a reading at the University of Chicago. The poems are the aftermath of her breakup with Dillon. Even after they broke up, they still collaborated on poems together and remained friends.
After Dillon's death, a copy of Fatal Interview in his library was found to contain a sheet of paper with a note by Millay: "These are all for you, my darling."
habit of taking 200mg of morphine daily, which is ten times more than a lethal dose to someone who has not built up a tolerance. This abuse damaged her appearance and made it difficult to write. In 1944 she had a nervous breakdown and stopped writing altogether, but started again with the support of her husband. She died in 1950 at the age of 58 by falling down the stairs after having a heart attack.
George Dillon
END STOPPED LINES:
ALTERNATE RHYME SCHEMES AND END RHYME:
(lines 13 & 14): This poetic device created a detached mood because the flow of the rhythm had stopped. It is a simple, great way to conclude the sonnet because she states her last words that are simple and contradicts the theme of the sonnet.
(every line): These poetic devices create a smooth rhythm and allowed to flow smoothly than an ordinary free verse poem.
REPETITION
THEME
(lines 1-6): the way the theme was illustrated in this poem was very unusual. The main theme is the loss of unfulfillable love. Normally the same theme is carried throughout the entire literary piece, but here in this sonnet, the theme switches gears. Now she claims she misses the love she has had before instead of criticizing its satisfaction.
Love is not all: It is not meat nor drink
Nor slumber nor a roof against the rain,
Nor yet a floating spar to men that sink
and rise and sink and rise and sink again.
Love cannot fill the thickened lung with breath
Nor clean the blood, nor set the fractured bone;
Yet many a man is making friends with death
even as I speak, for lack of love alone.
It well may be that in a difficult hour,
pinned down by need and moaning for release
or nagged by want past resolution's power,
I might be driven to sell your love for peace,
Or trade the memory of this night for food.
It may well be. I do not think I would.
Love is not all: It is not meat nor drink
Nor slumber nor a roof against the rain,
Nor yet a floating spar to men that sink
and rise and sink and rise and sink again.
Love cannot fill the thickened lung with breath
Nor clean the blood, nor set the fractured bone;
Yet many a man is making friends with death
even as I speak, for lack of love alone.
It well may be that in a difficult hour,
pinned down by need and moaning for release
or nagged by want past resolution's power,
I might be driven to sell your love for peace,
Or trade the memory of this night for food.
It may well be. I do not think I would.
Love is not all: It is not meat nor drink
Nor slumber nor a roof against the rain,
Nor yet a floating spar to men that sink
and rise and sink and rise and sink again.
Love cannot fill the thickened lung with breath
Nor clean the blood, nor set the fractured bone;
Yet many a man is making friends with death
even as I speak, for lack of love alone.
It well may be that in a difficult hour,
pinned down by need and moaning for release
or nagged by want past resolution's power,
I might be driven to sell your love for peace,
Or trade the memory of this night for food.
It may well be. I do not think I would.
Love is not all: It is not meat nor drink
Nor slumber nor a roof against the rain,
Nor yet a floating spar to men that sink
and rise and sink and rise and sink again.
Love cannot fill the thickened lung with breath
Nor clean the blood, nor set the fractured bone;
Yet many a man is making friends with death
even as I speak, for lack of love alone.
It well may be that in a difficult hour,
pinned down by need and moaning for release
or nagged by want past resolution's power,
I might be driven to sell your love for peace,
Or trade the memory of this night for food.
It may well be. I do not think I would.
SONNET
(the whole thing): Sonnet is an appropriate form of poetry for this poem. The words flow at a smooth and peaceful rhythm in order to accompany Millay's emotions of hopelessness and lovesickness.
Sonnets are commonly written in iambic pentameter.
Blank verse is the most versatile of
poetic verse because it imitates the
natural rhythms of English speech.
The iamb is the most commonly
used type of metrical foot.
Shakespeare's Sonnet 18
Imagery
visually descriptive or figurative language, esp. in a literary work.
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