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Edna St. Vincent Millay

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by

Larissa Harper

on 5 February 2013

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Transcript of Edna St. Vincent Millay

Poet Analysis by Larissa Harper Edna St. Vincent Millay
(1892-1950) Dirge Without Music Poem is a song about mourning death.
The writer is not ready to let them go
but understands death. They covered
them with lilies. Smart people will
always die and then they must go to
the dirt and feed the soil for more
flowers to grow. The writer says
that the person was more special
than all the flowers in the world. I Shall G Back I shall go back again to the bleak shore
And build a little shanty on the sand
In such a way that the extremest band
Of brittle seaweed shall escape my door
But by a yard or two; and nevermore
Shall I return to take you by the hand.
I shall be gone to what I understand,
And happier than I ever was before.
The love that stood a moment in your eyes,
The words that lay a moment on your tongue,
Are one with all that in a moment dies,
A little under-said and over-sung.
But I shall find the sullen rocks and skies
Unchanged from what they were when I was young. Voice, Figurative Language, Theme Voice: Her poems are not very in depth,
they tell stories and show observations.
There are no real characters to connect with.
Figurative Language: Some of the poems
contained metaphors and personifications.
Ex: "like grass bowing down" in the poem
Afternoon on a Hill.
Theme: Many of the poems contain flowers
(good and bad), death (it always happens,
have to accept it), and sadness that
life brings. Poetic Forms, Imagery, Diction Poem forms: all the poems rhyme. Some of are
ABCB, AABB, or ABAB. One of the poems I read
was a sonnet because of its length and rhyme.
Imagery: Throughout the poems there were
flowers that either represented a nice day or
flowers that represented flowers upon a grave.
Also, Spring was mentioned and how it always
comes back.
Diction: She uses small speech and uses
rhyming words. They are like songs and are
easy to read. Theses From looking at some works from this poet, I
believe that she.....

~ believed that there was a purpose to life and that people who once had great brains and did great
things have to die and return to the ground.

~ was a woman of thought and remembrance. A
few of her poems were recalling times where memories were made. Personal Response I chose ten poems from Edna St. Vincent Millay. The reason I chose these poems was because I thought they were easy to read and analyze.
My reactions while reading some of these poems is that Edna has a lot of sadness in her life and confusion because her poems are about death and intelligent people leaving the earth.
Some of the poems were easy to understand and some were a little harder. The difficult ones were "An Ancient Gesture" and "The Snow Storm". Questions Some questions I have after reading these poems are...
Why her poems, and other poems in general, just end abruptly?
Also, why do poems have hidden meaning that is hard to interpret?
I would also like to know why she focused on death a lot and mentioned in a few poems that smart people die and then fertilize the ground. This poem shows a person talking about
their former love. They were not satisfied
with them and they want to return to the
place that they lived when they were
younger, possibly to escape the person.
It says that they will never return to take
them by the hand, they want to return to
another place to be happy. They want to
go back to the beaches that they went to
when they were young. Conflict, Mood, Setting Her poems didn't all have a conflict. Some were just about visiting an asylum, traveling, the fact that death always happens, or talking about what love is and isn't.
The mood was generally of sadness. Some started happy on a nice day outside but then they turned because she knows that you have to return to your house and reality.
The setting was often in nature or outside. So, I think she liked nature. It is peaceful, but then she added the fact that people are buried in the ground. There was a lot of flowers, graves, snow, rocks in her poems.
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