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Selected Poetry of Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950)


from Representative Poetry On-line
Prepared by members of the Department of English at the University of Toronto
from 1912 to the present and published by the University of Toronto Press from 1912 to 1967.
RPO Edited by Ian Lancashire
A UTEL (University of Toronto English Library) Edition
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries
© 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto

Index to poems

I would indeed that love were longer-lived,
And vows were not so brittle as they are,
But so it is, and nature has contrived
To struggle on without a break thus far, --
Whether or not we find what we are seeking
Is idle, biologically speaking.
        ([Four Sonnets (1922)])
  1. Ashes of Life
  2. The Betrothal
  3. Departure
  4. Dirge
  5. Ebb
  6. Feast
  7. First Fig
  8. [Four Sonnets (1922)]
  9. Grown-up
  10. Humoresque
  11. Lament
  12. The Penitent
  13. Recuerdo
  14. Second Fig
  15. Sonnets (1923)
  16. Sonnets from an Ungrafted Tree
  17. Sorrow
  18. Spring


Notes on Life and Works

Edna St. Vincent Millay was born on February 22, 1892, in Rockland, Maine. Educated in Camden and New York, she graduated from Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, New York, in 1917. At first, she worked as a playwright, an actress, and a journalist for Vanity Fair while making a start as a writer by publishing three plays and four remarkable books of poetry, Renascence and Other Poems (1917), A Few Figs from Thistles (1920), Second April (1921), and The Ballad of the Harp-Weaver (1922). She received the Pulitzer Prize for The Harp-Weaver and Other Poems (1923), and she married Eugen Jan Boissevain that year as well. They moved to Austerlitz, New York, in 1926, and she produced twelve more books of poetry before her death on October 19, 1950. These were

Posthumously, Norma Millay edited Edna's Mine the Harvest: A Collection of New Poems in 1954.

Caedmon Records published in 1961 an audiocassette of Millay reading her poems (TC1123). Karl Yost's A Bibliography of the Works of Edna St. Vincent Millay (New York: Harper, 1937; Z 8574.87 Y65) supplies bibliographical information, supplemented by Judith Nierman's Edna St. Vincent Millay: A Reference Guide (Boston: G. K. Hall, 1977; Z 8574 .87 .N53 Robarts Library) gives details of the poet's bibliography. Toby Shafter's Edna St. Vincent Millay: America's Best-loved Poet (New York: J. Messner, 1957; PS 3525 I495 Z78 1957 Scarborough College Library) and Jean Gould's The Poet and her Book (New York: Dodd, Mead, 1969; PS 3525 .I495Z64 Robarts Library) are representative biographies. Her Letters were edited by Allan Ross Macdougall (New York: Harper, 1952; PS 3525 .I495 Z53 Robarts Library).

Biographical information

Given name: Edna St. Vincent
Family name: Millay
Birth date: 22 February 1892
Death date: 19 October 1950
Nationality: American
Honour: Pulitzer Prize: 1923
Literary period: modern