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Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892–1950)

Author of Collected Poems

113+ Works 5,809 Members 76 Reviews 83 Favorited

About the Author

Edna St. Vincent Millay 1892-1950 Edna St. Vincent Millay, American poet, dramatist, lyricist, lecturer, and playwright, was born on February 22, 1892 in Rockland, Maine, and educated at Barnard College and at Vassar College, where she earned her B. A. (Her poem "Renascence" won fourth place in a show more contest and was published in The Lyric Year in 1912; this resulted in a scholarship to Vassar.) Millay's first volume of poetry, "Renascence and Other Poems," was published in 1917. In 1923, "The Ballad of the Harp-Weaver" won her a Pulitzer Prize in Poetry. Other works include: "A Few Figs from Thistles;" "Sonnets in American Poetry," "A Miscellany," "The Lamp and the Bell" and "There Are No Islands Any More." Millay also wrote the libretto for "The King's Henchman," one of the few American grand operas. Edna St. Vincent Millay married Eugen Jan Boissevain in 1923. Shortly after, they purchased a farm in upstate New York, which they called Steepletop. Millay lived here for the rest of her life, composing some of her finest work in a little shack separate from the main house. Boissevain died in 1949. Millay died of a heart attack in her home on October 19, 1950. (Bowker Author Biography) show less
Image credit: Courtesy of the NYPL Digital Gallery (image use requires permission from the New York Public Library)

Works by Edna St. Vincent Millay

Collected Poems (1956) 1,076 copies
Collected Sonnets (1959) 769 copies
Selected Poems (1991) 489 copies
Renascence and Other Poems (1917) 440 copies
A Few Figs from Thistles (1920) 132 copies
Fatal Interview (1931) 131 copies
Conversation at Midnight (1937) 104 copies
The King's Henchman (1926) 90 copies
Wine from These Grapes (1934) 77 copies
Second April (1921) 71 copies
Huntsman, What Quarry? (1939) 66 copies
Make Bright the Arrows (1940) 54 copies
Mine the Harvest (1949) 51 copies
Take Up the Song: Poems (1986) 27 copies
The murder of Lidice (1942) 26 copies
The Lamp and the Bell (1921) 21 copies
Three plays (1926) 10 copies
Afternoon on a Hill (2019) 3 copies
The King's Henchman: Lyric Drama in Three Acts (1926) — Librettist — 3 copies
Herkenningen : vertaalde gedichten (1981) — Author — 3 copies
Poems 2 copies
The harp-weaver (1924) 2 copies
Poems and Satires (2021) 1 copy
Antología poética (2020) 1 copy
FEAR (1927) 1 copy

Associated Works

The Flowers of Evil (1936) — Translator, some editions; Introduction, some editions — 7,378 copies
One Hundred and One Famous Poems (1916) — Contributor, some editions — 1,876 copies
The Making of a Poem: A Norton Anthology of Poetic Forms (2000) — Contributor — 1,225 copies
Winter Poems (1994) — Contributor — 1,139 copies
Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama (1995) — Contributor, some editions — 901 copies
The Best Loved Poems of Jacqueline Kennedy-Onassis (2001) — Contributor — 537 copies
A Pocket Book of Modern Verse (1954) — Contributor, some editions — 435 copies
Cries of the Spirit: A Celebration of Women's Spirituality (2000) — Contributor — 364 copies
Literature: The Human Experience (2006) — Contributor — 335 copies
The Penguin Book of Women Poets (1978) — Contributor — 295 copies
Writing New York: A Literary Anthology (1998) — Contributor — 274 copies
The Art of Losing (2010) — Contributor — 191 copies
A Day on Skates: The Story of a Dutch Picnic (1934) — Foreword, some editions — 174 copies
American Religious Poems: An Anthology (2006) — Contributor — 160 copies
The Saturday Evening Post Treasury (1954) — Contributor — 134 copies
American Wits: An Anthology of Light Verse (2003) — Contributor — 131 copies
A Comprehensive Anthology of American Poetry (1929) — Contributor — 127 copies
No More Masks! An Anthology of Poems by Women (1973) — Contributor — 122 copies
The Penguin Book of Women's Humour (1996) — Contributor — 114 copies
The Standard Book of British and American Verse (1932) — Contributor — 110 copies
Thirty Famous One-Act Plays (1943) — Contributor — 106 copies
Twentieth-Century American Poetry (1777) — Contributor — 93 copies
Storytelling and Other Poems (Childcraft) (1949) — Contributor — 89 copies
Poems Between Women (1997) — Contributor — 89 copies
Poems to See By: A Comic Artist Interprets Great Poetry (2020) — Contributor — 83 copies
The Virago Book of Wicked Verse (1992) — Contributor — 82 copies
Gods and Mortals: Modern Poems on Classical Myths (1684) — Contributor — 68 copies
American Sonnets: An Anthology (2007) — Contributor — 64 copies
The Hungry Ear: Poems of Food and Drink (2012) — Contributor — 62 copies
The Vintage Book of American Women Writers (2011) — Contributor — 55 copies
Women of the Weird: Eerie Stories by the Gentle Sex (1976) — Contributor — 41 copies
A Quarto of Modern Literature (1935) — Contributor — 38 copies
60 Years of American Poetry (1996) — Contributor — 28 copies
American Poetry, 1922 A Miscellany (2007) — Contributor — 19 copies
Arthurian Literature by Women: An Anthology (1999) — Contributor — 19 copies
Ellery Queen's Poetic Justice (1967) — Contributor, some editions — 18 copies
Twelve Classic One-Act Plays (2010) — Contributor — 17 copies
The Panorama of Modern Literature (1934) — Contributor — 14 copies
Modern Women Poets (2005) — Contributor — 13 copies
Queer Nature: A Poetry Anthology (2022) — Contributor — 13 copies
Men and Women: The Poetry of Love (1970) — Contributor — 7 copies
The Lost Birds: An Extinction Elegy (2022) — Composer — 3 copies
早稲田文学増刊 女性号 (2017) — Contributor — 1 copy


19th century (244) 20th century (154) American (124) American literature (235) American poetry (152) anthology (873) Baudelaire (72) classic (87) classics (124) collection (102) drama (101) Edna St. Vincent Millay (82) essays (85) fiction (406) first edition (85) France (149) French (384) French literature (361) French poetry (134) Library of America (129) literary criticism (64) literature (654) nature (71) New York (57) non-fiction (212) own (68) picture book (64) poems (205) poetry (6,296) poetry anthology (87) read (92) reference (85) short stories (105) sonnets (57) textbook (85) to-read (527) unread (68) winter (128) women (132) writing (72)

Common Knowledge

Legal name
Millay, Edna St. Vincent
Other names
Boyd, Nancy
Date of death
Burial location
Steepletop Cemetery, Austerlitz, Columbia County, New York, USA
Rockland, Maine, USA
Place of death
Austerlitz, New York, USA
Places of residence
Rockland, Maine, USA
Poughkeepsie, New York, USA
New York, New York, USA
Paris, France
Camden, Maine, USA
Vassar College (BA|1917)
Camden High School
short-story writer
Van Stockum, Hilda (niece)
Boissevain, Eugen Jan (husband)
American Academy of Arts and Letters (Literature, 1929)
Awards and honors
Frost Medal (1943)
Pulitzer Prize for Poetry (1923)
Short biography
Edna St. Vincent Millay pulled herself out of a poverty-stricken childhood and became queen of the Bohemians during her years in New York's Greenwich Village. She expressed the recklessness of the Lost Generation of writers and artists following World War I with her famous poem "First Fig" ("my candle burns at both ends. . ."). She was the first woman to receive the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.



Good for melancholy and nature and being melancholy in nature. I bookmarked:
Ode to Silence
Sonnets ("We talk of taxes...")

"Yours is a face of which I can forget
The colour and the features, every one,
The words not ever, and the smiles not yet;
But in your day this moment is the sun
Upon a hill, after the sun has set."
mmparker | 2 other reviews | Oct 24, 2023 |
setnahkt | 7 other reviews | Aug 20, 2023 |
I’m a fan of Edna St. Vincent Millay’s poetry, so when I ran across a quotation of a few lines from this book, I decided to check it out. It’s an eighty-five-year-old stage play in verse, recounting the after-dinner talk of Ricardo, a wealthy sophisticate with a townhouse in Greenwich Village, and his six dinner guests. Since the far-ranging snippets touch on many political and social issues of the time, eight years into the Great Depression and on the eve of World War Two (with war already underway in China, Ethiopia, and Spain), I was prepared for much of the dialogue to be dated. This was less the case than I expected (sad to say).
Instead, the weakness lies in the characters. They are types, not persons: A stockbroker, a poor poet blindly defending Stalin, a frustrated fine artist who gets by on portrait commissions, a writer of short stories, a priest, and a young advertising copywriter. The exchanges, particularly heated between the broker and the poet, yield few surprises, and I didn’t notice any character development.
I was fascinated that Millay assembled an all-male group. This struck me even before the extended disquisition on the foibles of women that opened Part Two.
As for the writing: some of it, particularly the soliloquies written as sonnets, was fine. Millay displays a gift for aphorism. In addition to the lament that Babel is here and now that led me to read this, there is this on the economy: “I’m beginning to wonder what the hell / We buy that’s half so precious as what we sell.” Or this: “Hypocrisy is not to be despised, it is the pimp of Empire, but it presupposes / The existence in the community of a spiritual force for good, that must be courted and betrayed / Into connivance with evil before the planned step can be made.” As contemporary as the run-up to the Iraq War.
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HenrySt123 | 1 other review | Aug 5, 2023 |
RENASCENCE by Edna St. Vincent Millay, was, I know, considered a groundbreaking classic in its time, and a treasured book of my mom's, but sorry, Mom. I read the whole book in about forty minutes. I just couldn't relate to all the gloom and doom, and the stilted, archaic rhyming that, to me, was reminiscent of Poe. For me it was just barely an 'okay.' I have my mother's 1917 hardback (first?) edition of the book, published by Harper & Brothers. Content-wise I couldn't recommend it. But I wonder if it's valuable.

- Tim Bazzett, author of the memoir, BOOKLOVER
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TimBazzett | 10 other reviews | Jun 29, 2023 |



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